Tukuyu Medical Research Centre is located in Tukuyu in Rungwe district of south-western Tanzania. Tukuyu Centre was established in 1976 as a National Onchocerciasis Project of the Ministry of Health. It became Tukuyu Research Station of the National Institute for Medical Research in 1979. The Station was promoted to become Tukuyu Medical Research Centre through a Government Gazette Notice in 1991.
Tukuyu Centre is made up by Scientific, Laboratory and Administration and Finance Departments. Currently, the centre has a total of 33 staffs of which nine are research scientists, two laboratory technologists, two Laboratory technicians, two laboratory assistants, two Assistant Accountants and one Human Resource Officer. Other staffs include three personal secretaries, one Registry Assistant, four office attendants, four security guards and two drivers. Of the nine Research Scientists, one is a PhD holder, three are PhD candidates, three are holders of MSc degrees, one is MSc candidate and one is holder of Bachelor degree.
An insectary building at Tukuyu (L) Tukuyu Centre Office cum Laboratory building
Tukuyu Centre operates its core functions an office cum laboratory building constructed in 2003. The building has three big rooms for laboratories and quite enough number of rooms for offices, library, stores and caretaker apartments. The centre also owns three residence houses and an insectary building.
The Centre has a long history of research on epidemiology and control of Onchocerciasis in Tanzania. However, recently, the Centre widened its scope of research to include malaria, non communicable diseases and health system research.
Tukuyu Centre is recognised by a number of achievements. The centre spearheaded the conduct of Rapid epidemiological Mapping of Onchocerciasis in Tanzania whose findings enabled the Ministry of Health in establishing National Onchocerciasis Control programme. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Centre initiated Community Based Treatment with ivermectin (CBTI) as a control strategy for Onchocerciasis. This strategy was later named as Community Directed Treatment with Ivermectin. The Centre has conducted Onchocerciasis Vector Elimination project in the Tukuyu focus, the first of its kind in Tanzania that resulted in disappearance in the focus, the Simulium vector species. Other outstanding research activities conducted include:- (i) Long term surveys on Onchocerciasis vector bionomics, ecology, behaviour and cytogenetic species identification in various parts of Tanzania; (ii) investigation into the isolation of the Tukuyu focus of Onchocerciasis (Tanzania) from Simulium damnosum s.l. vector re-invasion; (iii) Impact Assessment of long term Impact of Community Directed Treatment with Ivermectin for Onchocerciasis Control in and outside Tanzania; (iv) Malariometric and entomological malaria surveys in southern highland zone of Tanzania; and (iv) Prevalence, clinical manifestations and outcomes in paediatric patients admitted with severe malaria to Rungwe and Kyela district Hospitals. The Centre has published 55 papers in peer-reviewed journals.