The National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) is the largest public health research institution in Tanzania. It was established by the Parliamentary Act No. 23 of 1979 as a parastatal organization under the Ministry of Health. The establishment of NIMR was in recognition by the government of the need to generate scientific information required in the development of better methods and techniques of enhancing disease management, prevention and control in the country.
The National Institute for Medical Research was established with the following functions:
- To carry out and promote the carrying out of medical research designed to alleviate disease among the people of Tanzania;
- To carry out and promote the carrying out of research into various aspects of local traditional medical practices for the purpose of facilitating the development and application of herbal medicine;
- To cooperate with the government or any person, or body of persons, in promoting or providing facilities for, the training of local personnel for carrying out scientific research into medical problems;
- To monitor, control and coordinate medical research carried out within Tanzania, or elsewhere on behalf of or for the benefit of the government of Tanzania, and to evaluate the findings of that research;
- To establish a system of the registration of, and to register the findings of medical research carried out within Tanzania, and promote the practical application of those findings for the purpose of improving or advancing the health and general welfare of the people of Tanzania;
- To establish and operate systems of documentation and dissemination of information on any aspect of the medical research carried out by or on behalf of the institute