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The Chief Medical Officer, (CMO) Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Prof. Abel Makubi urged MUHAS scientists to conduct researches on COVID-19 to obtain data for the fight against the pandemic in the country.

This was said during his visit to MUHAS on 10th March, 2021 with the aim of continuing to develop the close relationship between the Ministry and health institutions and also to be able to know what these institutions are currently doing. 

Contrary to misleading information that has been around, the CMO said the Ministry of Health has not banned researches on COVID-19 because even the Ministry needs those data to make informed decision on that area. “We went a bit far on this and in collaboration with Prof, Mgaya of MIMR and his team, we provided guidance on priority areas that need to be researched on COVID-19”, Prof. Makubi added.

The CMO therefore encouraged MUHAS scientists and other research institutions through Ministry of Health to conduct research on this area because the Ministry is givjng due weight in conducting research in this area and all other areas.

Moreover, Prof Makubi emphasized on the importance for everyone to take all protective precautions against the diseases. Unfortunately, the CMO said, the social media through the internet has often misled many people by believing every information provided to be true while there is a lot of misinformation related to COVID 19 itself, its transmission, its treatment but also its vaccines.

“I would like to ask you, my fellow scientists, to help the community by eliminating distortion of information and intensify our efforts to educate people with the right information about COVID 19”, Prof. Makubi added. The CMO further said’ if the public will observe a Professor from Muhimbili explaining on the truth thus counteracting misleading information, there is a greater chance of of the community believing in the information because people still have great faith in this University.

On the issue of training, Prof. Makubi said the ministry has made a serious commitment this year to provide sponsorship for more than 300 postgraduate students, making a total of 624 postgraduate students who are supported by the ministry from 1st, 2nd and 3rd year with the total cost of 3.3 billion. He said this has never happened before therefore it shows the Government’s commitment on this area.

Speaking earlier in welcoming the CMO and his delegation to MUHAS, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Andrea Pembe gave short remarks on the core functions of the University namely; training of human resources for health, conducting research that promotes health as well as providing professional advice where needed in the government and in all other institutions in and outside the country.

In research, Prof. Pembe said the University has continued to do well in this area. “So far we have 103 collaborations that are active and also on average the number of publications last year was more than 400”, he added. The VC said these publications not only help the faculty in climbing the ladder but also to support the establishment or improvement of various government policies and healthcare delivery in the country.

The Vice Chancellor further explained to the CMO the efforts done by the University in the fight against the corona pandemic. “We have a unit in the School of Pharmacy that helps us in producing hand sanitizers but also our Institute of Traditional Medicine have continued with researches by looking at treatments that can help locally”, he added.

The Vice Chancellor further explained that from those researches, ITM was able to produce a medicine which was named Rona. This medicine, he said has been very successful due to people’s reports, however, the University does not yet have scientific data that can support the apparent success of the medicine.

In this visit the CMO was accompanied by the Director General of the National Institute for Medical Research, the Director of Training from the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Chief Pharmacist, Registrar of Professional Council (Medical Council of Tanganyika and Tanzania Nursing and Midwifery Council), The Acting Dar es Salaam Regional Medical Officer with his team and the President of Medical Association of Tanzania (MAT).

During the visit the CMO visited the pharmacy laboratories and Institute of Traditional medicine.