The history of Muhimbili Centres goes back to 1968 when the East African Medical Research Council established a Tuberculosis Investigating Unit in Dar es Salaam The Unit then worked as the National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory and later was inherited by NIMR in 1979.
Like Tanga and Tabora, Muhimbili operated as a Station until August 2005. The Headquarters of the Centre is at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) premises within the Central Pathology Laboratory (CPL)The Centre has a BSL-1-3 laboratory for TB within the Central Pathology Laboratory.
The Centre runs two research stations at Haydom (Mbulu District in Manyara) and Kilosa (Kilosa District in Morogoro). . To improve implementation of the core activities of the centre, five research programmes have been formed. The research programmes include: (i) Clinical and epidemiological research on tuberculosis and HIV; (ii) Maternal and child health; (iii) Epidemiology of zoonoses; (iv) Laboratory research on TB and HIV infection; (v) Health systems research and policy.
A significant human resource capacity growth has been witnessed at the Centre in the last decade. Having started with only one research scientist in 1980 and six research scientists in 2004, the Centre has grown to 19 research scientists in 2012. Currently there three scientists with PhD degrees; one PhD candidate; seven scientists with MSc/MPhil degrees; six scientists with MD degrees; one MSc trainee; three laboratory technologists; five laboratory technicians; one laboratory assistant and 27 none scientific staff.
Since 2005, the Centre has evolved from a disease specific approach research i.e. carrying out research on TB, HIV/AIDS and the related illnesses to the wider mandate that includes all health research at the local, regional, zonal and national levels. The current research focus is on Tuberculosis and TB/HIV co-infection; Zoonotic diseases; Clinical trials; Diagnosis and laboratory sciences; Disease Surveillance; Genetics and Molecular Biology; Bio-informatics; Health System and Policy Research; and Child and Maternal health.
Haydom Research Station is located within Haydom Lutheran Hospital in Mbulu District of northern Tanzania, about 80 km from Mbulu Town. The Station is a result of collaborative initiatives between the hospital and National Institute for Medical Research. NIMR has been carrying out collaborative research with the Haydom Lutheran Hospital since 1999. Since, then the number of research activities at the Hospital has increased tremendously. In 2005 a Memorandum of Understanding was developed and signed stipulating modalities undertaking collaborative research between the National Institute for Medical Research, Haydom Lutheran Hospital and University of Bergen, Norway.
Kilosa Research Station originates from the Rectal Artesunate Clinical (RECTOCAP) Trial which was carried out in Kilosa District from 1999. The Station is within the Kilosa District Hospital, located in at about 100 km from Morogoro in central Tanzania. The Station utilizes hospital buildings renovated using funds obtained from the Swedish Embassy in Tanzania. In 2000, permission was granted by the district health authorities to re-construct three permanent offices to constitute a research base for a clinical trial. In 2006, the Kilosa clinical trial offices were formally absorbed into the structure of the National Institute for Medical Research.
Currently the Station has 13 permanent employees including, two medical doctors, two assistant medical officers, two clinical officers, a registered nurse, laboratory assistant, one data entry clerk, a secretary, an office attendant and a guard. Kilosa Research Station has provided the basis for other research and research capacity. Studies undertaken at the Kilosa Stations