INAUGURATION: Ifakara unveils new office block at Kingani, Bagamoyo
Ifakara Health Institute today inaugurated a new office building in Bagamoyo for its staff. The Swiss Ambassador to Tanzania, Prof. Didier Chassot, graced the opening ceremony along with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Seif Shekalaghe.
Located at Kingani area on the outskirts of Bagamoyo Town, the block will accommodate all staff who are currently based in the Tanzania’s colonial capital. Until recently, the staff were accommodated in their old offices on the Indican Ocean shores – just behind the Bagamoyo District Hospital.
Apart from Bagamoyo, Ifakara also has two offices based in Dar es Salaam and Ifakara – where the Institute was born in 1956. A visit to Ifakara by zoologist Dr. Rudolf Geigy from Switzerland in 1949 marked the beginning of over 50-year history of Ifakara.
Geigy [1920-1995], a scientist from the Swiss Tropical Institute in Basel, sought a fieldwork location for researching on tropical diseases. Eight years later, he opened the Swiss Tropical Institute Field Laboratory (STIFL) there.
In the years after the 1961 independence, STIFL played a central role in training medical officers who could serve the country after independence. The government mandated STIFL to play the role through the Rural Aid Centre, which was designed to undertake the assignment.
Tanzania adopted the nationalization policy in the late 1960s and early 1970s which championed transferring of public institutions into the hands of Tanzanians. The policy set the stage for the integration of STIFL into a government agency – National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR).
The following year, that’s is 1991, STIFL was renamed ‘Ifakara Centre’ and made an affiliate of NIMR. In 1996, it was made a trust and renamed, ‘Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre (IHRDC). This name lasted until 2008 when it was changed to the current one of ‘Ifakara Health Institute.
>> For more photos from the event, follow this link.