Brief History-Establishment


Since 1968 when the Dar es Salaam College of the University of East Africa established its Faculty of Medicine, it was interested in the development of traditional medicine. In 1973 the University Planning Committee accepted the establishment of Traditional Medicine Research Unit which became operational in 1974. The unit had three sections namely Botany, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology which have now been transformed to departments ofthe Institute of Traditional Medicine


The Institute of Traditional Medicine was established Through parliamentact no. 9 of 1991, Section 10 (1) (c), under the Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences which in 2007 became Muhimbili University of Health and Alled Sciences, established Article 1 of the Charter of Incorporation; in line with the Universities act no 7 of 2005.The Institute has three Departments;known asDepartment of Medical Botany, Plant Breeding and Agronomy;Department of Natural Products Development and Formulation; and the Department of Biological and Preclinical Studies.  It is expected that three more departments; namely Department of Medical Anthropology; Department of Clinical Evaluation and Department of pharmaceutical formulations and production will be established.


The Institute of Traditional Medicine is charged with the responsibility to research into traditional healing systems, in Tanzania, to identify useful materiamedica which can be modernized and developed into drugs and traditional healing practices which can be adopted for use to improve human health.

The Institute has the following opportunities in accomplishing its responsibilities:

  1. The country with large wealth of medicinal plants, a few of which have been exploited. These represent potential source of curative products and drug
  2. Over 75,000 traditional healers in Tanzanian Mainland. These are the custodians of the knowledge about plants with medicinal value. They will assist the Institute in exploiting the wealth of medicinal plants found in different parts of the country.
  3.  Countrywith unique in the world. Some plants are only found in Tanzania. Due to this reason it is possible to attract both national and international collaborators in research on the medicinal value of these plants.
  4. Presence of medicinal plant farms, which can be used for commercial cultivation of medicinal plants. The same plants can be used to prepare galenicals for use. Establishment of a herbal pharmacy for dispensing these preparations will generate funds for the institute


Vision & Mission

THE VISION         

To become the leading institution in Africa in training, consultancy and research in developing quality herbal medicines for the healthy well being of the people, and contribute to poverty reduction through community based cultivation of specific medicinal plants


To research on traditional medicines and promote the development of standardized herbal and plant derived pharmaceuticals and useful non-material aspects of traditional medicine through teaching and consultancy for the improvement of the health of the Tanzanian people

Our Values

While conducting its daily research and development activities, the Institute shall uphold the following values as its guiding pillars:

•        Integrity:
•        Social responsibility:
•        Excellence:
•        Transparency:
•        Teamwork: 

Our Goals

•    To promote the use of traditional medicines and traditional methods of healing
The Institute shall use available expertise to evaluate, rationalize and promote the use of natural products, and beneficial customs and practices of traditional medicine. It will carry out clinical observations and toxicological studies as a means to promote safe products and to identify and discourage harmful products, customs and practices which are detrimental to health. Useful practices and methods will be researched on and promoted.  

•    To promote commercial exploitation and conservation of medicinal plants
The Institute shall organize itself to promote industrialization and trade in herbal medicines, as a way to contribute to National Growth and Poverty Reduction. In collaboration with other stakeholders, it intends to promote conservation of natural floraand community based cultivation of medicinal plants.Also, contribute to trade in herbal medicinal products throughsale of their extracts and possibly isolated pure compounds within the country and abroad;for improved livelihood.
•    To contribute to the discovery of new drugs
The Institute, through collaboration with Traditional Health Practitioners, conduct scientific investigations on plants, animal and mineral products that are used traditionally as medicines with the purpose of developing new drugs. The pursuit of patents shall be part of the core activities, the Institute and shall serve the purpose of discovery of new processes or drugs to treat conditions that are prevalent in Tanzania.This willalso serve as a source of technologyby generating new formulations, which are of interest to the pharmaceutical industries.

•    To contribute to the local production of pharmaceuticals
There are numbers of established medicinal plants growing in Tanzania. The country continues to import drugs derived from plants while some could be produced locally. The Institute has already started to pioneer the production of medicinesfrom known plants that grow in Tanzania. Efforts to strengthen capacityin terms of equipments areongoingfor laboratory to semi-industrial production of some formulations. Few machines have been acquired for production of capsules, powders, liquid and creamformulations. The Institute needs analytical equipment for the analysis of content and ingredients, and for stability testing to establish shelf life of drugs that will be produced as part of quality control management in the GMP laboratory.

•    To train and disseminate knowledge on traditional medicine.
The Institute participates in teaching undergraduate and postigraduate students in the Schools of Pharmacy, Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing. The institute hostsMaster and PhD programsin traditional medicine development and professional development course to traditional health practitioners and stakeholders. The knowledge generated is disseminated to policy makers, communities, traditional health practitioners, and the public in general.

•    To build relevant capacities to enable the Institute perform its mandate
The Institute shall endeavour to build adequate infrastructure to accommodate its staff, research and development activities, modern housing for research animals, and teaching equipment and facilities for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.




Contact US

P.O. Box 65001, Dar es Salaam,
Direct Line: 21500096, 2150302-6 Ext 216, 2150302-6 Ext. 262