The Muhimbili Institute of Allied Health Sciences is an academic multidisciplinary health institution with the teaching, research and consultancy services. It is situated within the premises of Muhimbili National Hospital.
The history of the Institute goes back as far as the times of colonial rule when the first training programme was established. In 1928 a group of individuals were selected among Ocean Road Hospital attendants/cleaners to undergo paramedical laboratory training under an apprenticeship schemed which involved performing of simple tests and microscopy. At the end of the Second World War in 1945, a three-year formal training of Laboratory Assistants began at the Ocean Road Hospital which was later on (1956) transferred to the Medical Training Centre (MTC) at the then Princess Margaret Hospital which is now, Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH).
In another development, the Environmental Health (Health Inspectors) training programme which had begun in Uganda in 1936 under the Royal Society of Health in London and in Kenya (1947) was also started in Tanganyika (1952) at Kongwa in Dodoma region. The health Inspectors training programme was also transferred to the then, Princes Margaret Hospital premises in 1956.
The training of Health Inspectors in East Africa was approved as a University programme in 1960. In 1967 the Inter-University Council for Medical Education of East Africa took over the training of Laboratory Assistants from the Tanganyika Medical Training Board (TMTB). The establishment of Faculty of Medicine of the Dar Es Salaam University College in 1968 automatically adopted the two programmes from the University of East Africa. These two University training programmes at MTC formed a nucleolus for the establishment of other paramedical staff training programmes.
In plans to improve the health status of her people, the government of Tanzania realized the importance of paramedical staff in the health sector. With an available physical infrastructure at Muhimbili Hospital (the MTC), the Ministry of Health started more schools for training in pharmacy, radiography, dental laboratory technology, chemical laboratory technology. Training in nursing and midwifery cadres was also established.
The purpose of establishing training of paramedical staff was to create a group of middle-level health professions of sound qualities capable of rendering quality health services especially to the rural community. The establishment of training centres /schools for these cadres was augmented by absence or little local capacity for undergraduate and postgraduate academic programmes in these health fields. Even when there are a few undergraduate and postgraduate programmes being conducted to date, the importance of paramedical (currently known as “Allied Health Staff”) strongly prevails as they play a crucial role in technical health services and thus exist in their own right.
Since its inception, the Institute of Allied Health Sciences (IAHS) has undergone a number of changes both in content and nomenclature. As aforesaid, it was first established under the name of “Medical Training Centre (MTC)” and was offering Certificate and Diploma programmes. In 1977 a policy was adopted to convert all the three year certificate programmes into Diploma programmes and all two-year certificate programmes to Health Assistant cadres. The name was changed to Paramedical Schools and ceased to offer Certificate programmes. When the former Faculty of Medicine was upgraded to Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences (MUCHS) in 1991, the Paramedical Schools were merged into Institute of Allied Health Sciences under the academic supervision of MUCHS which was still incorporated in Muhimbili Medical Centre (MMC). Administratively, the Institute remained under MMC.
INSTITUTE OF ALLIED HEALTH SCIENCES
P.O. Box 65005
Dar es Salaam
Tel: Direct: +255 22 2152941, Tel. 2150302-6 (Ext. 1323 Director, Ext. 1322 OMS)