Mark Urassa

Senior Research Scientist, Demography, Mwanza Medical Research Centre
I have been leading HIV/AIDS and related services in the past 24 years in Mwanza. During the period I have been able to set-up two key research activities in the Kisesa longitudinal HIV study i.e. Demographic surveillance (for population monitoring) and HIV surveillance (for HIV monitoring).

I have also implemented number of HIV monitoring activities among Antenatal women in Mwanza as well as assessing the impact of role out of ARVs in rural communities of Mwana Region, Tanzania. In response to the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic I have facilitated establishment of Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) and Care and Treatment Clinic (CTC) in the cohort area.

As for mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS, I have facilitated establishment of microeconomic groups in research/cohort area which is doing very well with over 40 groups established so far. My research has also fostered very good working relationship with local, districts and Regional authorities. My research work has been implemented through funding from number of international organizations: European Union, EDCTP, WHO, UNICEF, Wellcome Trust, Global Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and through Manitoba University, Canada. I have also worked in partnership with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), UK, University of California, North Carolina, Cornell and Georgetown (all in the USA) and Manitoba University, Canada.

Over the years, through my research work, I have been able to link my research with number of international research networks: ALPHA (network to support Analysis of longitudinal HIV Data in Africa), INDEPTH (network of sites collecting health and demographic data in developing countries), ANDLA (network of site with data on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) and IeDEA (International epidemiological Database to Evaluate AIDS). These Networks have been of great benefit to the Project as they facilitate capacity building among Project personnel, enable publications of papers using local data and combined data sets from sites in the Eastern, Central and South African Regions.

My scientific work is also well published in peer review journals with over Eighty publications so far. Over the 26 years of conducting research, I have jointly attracted research grants worth $8 Million.