DAR ES SALAAM: AS part of the celebrations to mark 60 years of Sweden-Tanzania Development Cooperation, Swedish Embassy in Tanzania has launched a biorepository laboratory at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS).
A biorepository is a facility that collects, catalogs and stores samples of biological material for laboratory research. Biorepositories collect and manage specimens from animals, plants and other living organisms.
The Embassy also launched an innovation incubation hub at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH)-Mloganzila in order to facilitate the MUHAS Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Swedish Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Charlotta Ozaki Macias, officially officiated the launching yesterday in the city.
Speaking during the launch, which went hand in hand with awarding winners of the Swedish International Development Agency’s (SIDA) seed (6th cohort) grant to 20 junior faculties worth over 279m/-, cutting across various research fields, she said her country will continue to collaborate with MUHAS.
“We (Sweden) will continue to collaborate with the MUHAS, particularly in the development of the much-needed research infrastructure that will contribute to the sustainability of the investment in human resource development so far and the research outcomes,” she said.
She said the biorepository, where the biological samples will be kept for future research in an orderly and correct way, will make MUHAS a very attractive research university for all international research.
“At the same time, Tanzania, as the owner of the material, will be independent and will be able to find solutions to a variety of diseases present and coming in Tanzania,” she explained.
Adding: “The Embassy is preparing support for the next six-year phase, and it is hoped to start in January pending on funds set aside by the Government of Sweden.”
Detailing further, she said the MUHAS programme objective for a new phase of support from Sweden in 2024–2029 is to address health challenges through contextualised innovations, research, and training of a quality workforce for sustainable development.
Speaking about the support, MUHAS Acting Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Appolinary Kamuhabwa noted that the biorepository will be dedicated to supporting research work, especially now that the university is attracting more clinical trials.
He added that the innovation incubation hub will create a space to develop and support innovative ideas and solutions towards attaining SDG 3, “ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages by 2030.”
Elaborating, He said the hub is going to provide a dedicated space where innovators can explore, develop, and refine their innovative concepts, as well as facilitate funding applications and linkages to other partners.
“It will be an avenue where innovators will regularly meet with fellow innovators and potential funders, as well as provide mentorship support to students to move their projects into the next steps,” he said