September 29, 2023
HJF Medical Research International in Tanzania (HJFMRI), in collaboration with the National Medical Research Institute - Mbeya Medical Research Centre (NIMRI - MMRC), Mbeya Zonal Referral Hospital (MZRH), Baylor Clinic and the University of Dar Es Salaam-Mbeya University College of Health and Allied Sciences, hosted a highly successful Symposium of Health and Academic Research (SHARe) with the theme ‘A paradigm shift in health care: the push for integrated services.”
“As non-communicable diseases (NCDs) continue to rise, low- and middle-income countries like Tanzania are faced with the challenge of managing both NCDs and infectious diseases. SHARe Symposium is a platform that will enable us as a country to come up with concreate scientific solutions,” said Dr. Hamad Juma Nyembea, the guest of honour representing the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Acting Director of Curative Services at the Ministry of Health.
SHARe, which took place at the Eden highland Hotel in the southern region of Mbeya September 21-22, brought together more than 260 professionals and experts, both in-person and virtually, to foster collaboration, share innovative approaches, and build resilience in tackling global health threats. The event had more than 80 oral and poster presentations and an in-depth panel discussion. The topics included PEPFAR, COVID-19, TB/HIV, Emerging Infectious Diseases and Neglected Tropical Diseases, Sexual, Reproductive Health, Maternal and Child Health, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) including Mental Health and Nutrition, Occupational Health, Digital Innovations and Technologies in Health, Biomedical Sciences and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).
Dr. Magnus Ndolichimpa, Deputy Executive Director for HJFMRI in Tanzania, acknowledged PEPFAR and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), for their support for this symposium, and highlighted the importance of sharing and gaining knowledge, particularly in disseminating research findings, that improve health in their communities.
“We are excited to be part of this important scientific gathering in Tanzania. Through presentations and discussion, HJFMRI and other participants are able tap the innovative HIV treatment and prevention knowledge to advance the implementation of our HIV interventions” added Dr. Magnus.
The Director General for the National Institute for Medical Research Prof. Said Aboud gave a keynote speech, emphasizing the need to integrate non-communicable diseases services at the Clinical Trials Center (CTC). Recent studies indicate that people living with HIV are at increased risk of getting other non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
The SHARe symposium fostered discussion on some of the bottlenecks which are holding the country back toward attaining epidemic control especially to meet the first 95 UNAIDS Target by 2030, which requires everyone in the country to be reached with HIV services and knowing their HIV status. Attendees gained knowledge on best practices, innovations, and ideas on how Tanzania can take an active role in the HIV response as well as address other emerging infectious diseases.
Written by Owen Mwandumbya, HJFMRI Tanzania