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MUHAS Centre of Excellence  set for launch next week

MUHAS Centre of Excellence set for launch next week

THE country's ability to treat patients with cardiovascular ailments is likely to further improve with the launching of the Centre of Excellence for Cardiovascular Sciences (CoECS) next week.

The Centre, which is located on the Mloganzila Campus of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), is expected to contribute more to the government's efforts to reduce the number of patients, seeking treatment overseas and therefore saving public funds.

According to the MUHAS Vice Chancellor, Professor Andrea Pembe the Centre will be officially opened on   December next Monday (December 6) by Zanzibar First Vice President, Othman Masoud Othman.

“The Centre will train and create cardiovascular specialists and super specialists for East African countries,” he said.

Speaking during a 60th anniversary symposia series held by public health and allied sciences universities in Tanzania, he said the launching of the Centre demonstrates how far the nation has progressed in the preceding six decades, notably in the training of health professionals.

The CoECS is part of the East African Centre of Excellence in Skills Development and Tertiary Education in Biomedical Sciences Project that aims at contributing to the development of relevant and highly skilled workforce in biomedical sciences to meet the East African Community’s immediate labor market needs.

The Centre is funded by the government of Tanzania and a soft loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB). Phase one of the project will cost 10.2 million US Dollars.

Prof Pembe said the main purpose of establishing the Centre is to support prevention of cardiovascular diseases, offer treatment and save costs spent on taking patients abroad for heart disease treatment.

According to him, MUHAS has continued to grow and expand both teaching and research culture during the last six decades, while also setting the pace in giving professional advice on health concerns to other institutions, the government, and the international community.

Delivering a keynote address on epidemiological transition from pre-to-post independence, Epidemiologist at MUHAS, Prof Emeritus Killewo said Tanzania has seen rapid demographic and epidemiological transformation after independence, although the population pyramid has remained the same.

“Disease patterns have also been evolving dramatically over time,” he continued, “beginning mostly with infectious diseases and eventually merging into a mix of communicable and non-communicable diseases.”

Important milestones in the patterns, according to Prof Killewo, include the global elimination of smallpox and considerable reductions in polio, measles, HIV/AIDS, and malaria cases.

He said like many developing countries, Tanzania was forced to adopt structural adjustment policies as a condition of securing loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

According to him, it is therefore predicted that current disease patterns will remain the same or even become worse for the next 60 years if the population continues to grow at the same rate or is unchecked.

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Author: HILDA MHAGAMA

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