The Tanzanian National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), a parastatal institution under the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, was established in 1979 in recognition by the government of the need for scientific research required in the development of better methods and techniques for disease management, prevention and control in the country. Mwanza was chosen as one of the locations to host the new institution and in 1980 the NIMR Mwanza centre was established. Over the years, the NIMR Mwanza centre has developed research expertise in areas including malaria, HIV/AIDS, schistosomiasis, intestinal worms, tuberculosis, non-communicable diseases and nutrition. During this time, the centre has collaborated with many institutions both within the African region and internationally.
MITU is a component part of NIMR Mwanza Centre, although it maintains autonomy in formulating its research agenda and strategy, financial management and administration. This arrangement allows MITU to contribute to NIMR’s broad mission of conducting scientifically and ethically sound, high quality health research that is responsive to the broader needs of the Tanzanian community. Most MITU research projects are conducted jointly with Tanzanian scientists based at the NIMR Mwanza centre. This collaboration provides the opportunity for the Unit to maintain close contact with local and national government authorities, including the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ministry of Local Government, the National AIDS Control Programme and the Tanzania Commission for AIDS.