To identify chemical lures for use in mosquito traps to attract afro tropical mosquitoes as an alternative method of vector surveillance and control.
- To design and build semi-field environments (=mosquito spheres) to allow rapid testing of chemical lures using colony reared mosquitoes.
- To assist in the development of insectary facilities and productive colony management at AMRC.
- To test different models of Mosquito Magnet® in the Mosquito Spheres to assess their efficacy with different mosquito species.
- To screen commercially avialble lures, new compounds and mixtures in MM traps to assess their efficacy with different mosquito species.
The NIMR Amani Centre was initially established at Ubwari, Muheza by Capt. Dr. Bagster Wilson in 1949 as the former East African Malaria Unit (EAMU) under the Colonial and Welfare Scheme. At that time, the unit served British Somaliland, Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, and Zanzibar in the control of malaria and other vector-borne diseases. In 1951, the Unit was moved to Amani Hill as a result of the premises falling vacant because the former Forestry Research Centre under the East African Agricultural and Forestry Research Organization (EAAFRO, relocated to Muguga in Kenya.
The EAMU was renamed ‘East African Malaria Institute’ and became operational under the East African High Commission. However, Amani hill did not provide an environment suitable for malaria field activities (mainly due to the lack of malaria vectors hence a lack of malaria transmission) and the Ubwari site continued to operate as a field station where workers from Amani Hill would come down for the days' work and drive back to Amani. During this period research covered malaria, schistosomiasis and onchocerciasis. In addition the Centre had a strong training component targeting malaria field workers covering basic malariology and control of malaria vectors.
In 1954, the EAMI was renamed the East African Institute of Malaria and Vector Borne Diseases (EAIMVBD); research on schistosomiasis was phased out in 1960. Bancroftian filariasis and plague were introduced as new research areas at the EAIMVBD then operating under the East African Community (EAC) in the 1970’s.
Following the collapse of the EAC in 1977, the EAIMVBD was renamed ‘Amani Medical Research Centre’, which was to operate under the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), established by Act of Parliament No. 23 of 1979 that became operational in 1980.
The NIMR Amani Centre continued its research activities at both Amani Hill and its three Field Stations, namely Ubwari Field Station (located at the former EAMU premises in Muheza), Bombo Field Station at Bombo Hospital compound in Tanga City and Gonja Field Station in Same, Kilimanjaro Region. Over the past 10 years, research areas at NIMR Amani have increased to include clinical research as well as health systems and policy research.
In August 2005, a decision was made by NIMR Council to split the Amani Centre into two, namely Tanga and Amani Medical Research Centres. Tanga Centre occupies the Bombo Field Station premises with the newly built state of the art Amani Biomedical Research Laboratories (AMBRELA). Amani Centre was established with the two remaining sites of Amani Hill and Ubwari Station, with the Centre Director based at Ubwari in Muheza.
The New Amani Medical Research Centre has a vision of developing itself into a Centre of excellence in Vector Biology and Disease Control research. The strategic plan currently being developed, aims at focusing more on a broader agenda that includes research on malaria, plague, lymphatic filariasis, tick-borne relapsing fever, onchocerciasis, health systems and policy, bio-informatics, diagnosis and laboratory sciences, demographic surveillance systems, basic/applied research (genetics and molecular biology) and indigenous knowledge and traditional medicine. Its mandate will cover areas such as vector biology and ecology, vector control, surveillance for vector susceptibility to insecticides, basic and applied research on appropriate vector control technologies, operational research on vector interventions, product development and evaluation and health financing and service delivery.
The Centre has a total 130 permanent staff members and the Centre headquarters occupies 31 acres of land in Muheza town, approximately 36kms from Tanga City. There are laboratory facilities, office space, and a rest house at the Muheza site. Other experimental facilities include a set of large semi-field structures (Mosquito Spheres), an animal house, an insectary and a suite of experimental huts and experimental platforms. Amani Hill Field Station is located approximately 74kms from Tanga City and 35kms from Muheza Township, within the Amani Botanical garden (currently within Amani Nature Reserve). The Centre occupies a lush green piece of land of 227.58 acres. The Station has space for main administrative offices, laboratories, a rest house, as well as residential houses for senior and junior staff. Both Amani Hill Station and the Amani Centre headquarters in Muheza are furnished with modern communication facilities such as telephone and telefax and are connected to the internet with high speed servers. Mobile phone connectivity with several networks is also available.
Muheza is situated about 35km west of Tanga City, on the Tanga highway at the junction to Amani Nature Reserve and Pangani. Express buses from Dar es Salaam, Moshi and Tanga will stop in Muheza. By car, you will need to take the turn off from the B1 between Dar es Salaam and Moshi at Segera and if traveling by air, daily flights between Tanga and Dar es Salaam are operated by Coastal Travel. Once in Muheza, follow the signs to Amani Nature Reserve, cross over the railway line and drive approximately 1.5km to the end of the tarmac road, turn left and follow the track for another 0.5km.