Ngongongare Research Centre is located at Ngongongare village in Arumeru District in northern Tanzania. The Research Centre was formerly established as a project called ‘Conservation and Valorization of Phyto-Genic Resources and Traditional Knowledge in Tanzania’. This was a collaborative project between Cooperazione Italiana Nord Sud (CINS) and Associazione Africa Futura (AAF) (Italy) and the National Institute for Medical Research (Tanzania). The aim of the project as was to valorize local natural resources and safeguarding biodiversity of Tanzania through the creation of experimental facilities designed to provide research and development and testing sites for innovative technologies, including environment protection and preservation. The project also aimed support the local community by encouraging micro-entrepreneurships through cultivation of plants with biomedical and/or health related benefits through use of new agronomic techniques. The Italian-NIMR Project was handled over to the Government of Tanzania and incorporated as a NIMR Research Station on 25th September 2008. Ngongongare Research Station was officially gazetted to become Ngongongare Medical Research Centre on the Government Notice No. 428 published on the 12th November 2010.
The Centre is equipped with a phytochemistry laboratory with equipment for grinding, soaking, extraction and fractionation of medicinal plants. It also has a dispensary equipped with basic facilities for diagnosis and treatment of common diseases like malaria. There are also three hostels with a total of seven self contained rooms. There are four residential houses and an administrative office.
The Centre works closely with three renowned traditional healers of Maasai and Meru cultures. Processes are now underway for their registration as traditional health practitioners as required by the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act of 2002. There are plans to cooperate with the traditional healers in running a dispensary that will cater for both traditional and modern medicine, in which after diagnosis the client will choose one of the two for treatment.
The Centre also does conduct research in other areas including but not limited to, malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. The Centre has four research scientists (two with PhDs, two MSc) and one technologist, one accountant, one liaison officer and other 12 workers.