CAPACITY STATEMENT FOR NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH (NIMR) TUKUYU MEDICAL RESEARCH STATIONS
Tukuyu Research Centre is located in Rungwe District in the southern Highlands of Tanzania, about 930km from Dar es Salaam. When NIMR was established in 1979, The Station was born from a National Onchocerciasis Project of the Ministry of Health in 1976. Tukuyu was promoted from a Station status to Centre through a Government Gazette Notice in 1991. The Centre has a long history of research on onchocerciasis. Other research areas include lymphatic filariasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases, malaria, HIV/AIDS and social determinants of diseases.
For two decades the Centre operated its core functions in hired buildings until 2003 when the current office cum laboratory building was constructed by the Ministry of Health. The Centre has three staff residence houses, one building intended to be insectary, three vehicles two of them no working (Grounded) and five motorcycles (need to be serviced). The Centre has a total of 5 staff; one Research officer, one assistant research officer, one Personal Secretary, one laboratory attendant and one office Attendant.
The Centre spearheaded the conduct of Rapid epidemiological Mapping of Onchocerciasis (REMO) in Tanzania whose findings enabled the Ministry of Health in establishing National Onchocerciasis control programme (NOCP). In collaboration with the ministry of Health, the centre initiated community based Treatment with ivermectin (CBTI) as a control strategy of Onchocerciasis. This strategy was later changed to Community Directed Treatment with Ivermectin (CDTI), the philosophy introduced by APOC. The centre also conducted Onchocerciasis Vector Elimination project in the Tukuyu focus, the first of its kind in Tanzania that resulted in disappearance in the focus, the vector species before immigrant flies from Ruvuma, neighbor zone, invaded the focus.
The Centre plans to continue with research on epidemiology and control of onchocerciasis, and other NTDs. The Centre will continue to provide technical support to national diseases control programmes and will establish and strengthen collaboration with institutions within and outside Tanzania.