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Inauguration of the Tanzania Society of Human Genetics: Biomedical Research in Tanzania with Emphasis on Human Genetics and Genomics

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  • 1 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania;
  • 2 Department of Genetics, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands;
  • 3 Sickle Cell Program, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  • 4 Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  • 5 Plant Protection Department, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden;
  • 6 InqabaBiotec East Africa Limited, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  • 7 Department of Clinical Nursing, School of Nursing, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  • 8 Department of Science and Laboratory Technology, Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  • 9 Mbeya College of Health and Allied Sciences, University of Dar es Salaam, Mbeya, Tanzania;
  • 10 Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands;
  • 11 Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, Moshi, Tanzania;
  • 12 African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology, Wilkins Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe;
  • 13 National Institute for Medical Research, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania;
  • 14 Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia;
  • 15 Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts;
  • 16 Dar es Salaam University College of Education, UDSM, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

ABSTRACT

Human genetics research and applications are rapidly growing areas in health innovations and services. African populations are reported to be highly diverse and carry the greatest number of variants per genome. Exploring these variants is key to realize the genomic medicine initiative. However, African populations are grossly underrepresented in various genomic databases, which has alerted scientists to address this issue with urgency. In Tanzania, human genetics research and services are conducted in different institutions on both communicable and noncommunicable diseases. However, there is poor coordination of the research activities, often leading to limited application of the research findings and poor utilization of available resources. In addition, contributions from Tanzanian human genetics research and services are not fully communicated to the government, national, and international communities. To address this scientific gap, the Tanzania Society of Human Genetics (TSHG) has been formed to bring together all stakeholders of human genetics activities in Tanzania and to formally bring Tanzania as a member to the African Society of Human Genetics. This article describes the inauguration event of the TSHG, which took place in November 2019. It provides a justification for its establishment and discusses presentations from invited speakers who took part in the inauguration of the TSHG.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Mohamed Zahir Alimohamed, Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, P.O. Box 65001, 11103 Dar es salaam, Tanzania. E-mail: mzahir@blood.ac.tz

Authors’ addresses: Mohamed Zahir Alimohamed, Julie Makani, and Siana Nkya, Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, E-mails: mzahir89@gmail.com, jmakani@blood.ac.tz, and snkyamtatiro@gmail.com. Aneth David Mwakilili, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, E-mail: anethdavid367@gmail.com. Kenneth Mbwanji, Department of Molecular Diagnostics and Genomics Services, Inqaba Biotec East Africa Limited, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, E-mail: kenneth.mbwanji@inqababiotec.co.tz. Zainab Karim Manji, Department of Clinical Nursing, School of Nursing, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, E-mail: zainab.karim4@gmail.com. Frida Kaywanga, Sickle Cell Programme, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, E-mail: fridahkay92@gmail.com. Kilaza Samson Mwaikono, Department of Science and Laboratory Technology, Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, E-mail: kilazasmsn24@gmail.com. Ismael Adolf, Department of Biochemistry, University of Dar es Salaam Mbeya College of Health and Allied Sciences, Mbeya, Tanzania, E-mail: chatitadolf@gmail.com. Ben Hamel, Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, E-mail: b.hamel1503@gmail.com. Collen Masimirembwa, African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology, Wilkins Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe, E-mail: collenmasimirembwa@yahoo.com. Deus Simon Ishengoma, Laboratory Sciences, National Institute for Medical Research, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, E-mail: deusishe@yahoo.com.

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