The University of Dar es Salaam Mbeya College of Health and Allied Sciences (UDSM-MCHAS) has set to embark on two ground breaking researches on maternal health in Tanzania namely, the effectiveness of Tranexamic Acid (TXA) in preventing postpartum hemorrhage and Safe Cesarean Section.

The former is facilitated through a highly competitive London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) research grant worth $811,528.47 (equivalent to 1.99 billion Tanzania Shillings) while the latter Medical Research Council (MRC), United Kingdom grant is worth 150,000 US Dollars (equivalent to 367,695,000 Tanzania shillings). 

According to the Principal Investigator (PI), Prof. Projestine S. Muganyizi, the Principal of UDSM-MCHAS, the first research titled "Tranexamic Acid by the Intramuscular or Intravenous Route for the Prevention of Postpartum Hemorrhage in Women at Increased Risk: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial” is set to commence in August 2023.

The PI and his UDSM-MCHAS research team will work together with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine collaborators, Prof. Amy Brenner and Prof. Ian Roberts.

“The aim of this three-year research is to investigate the effectiveness of a drug known as Tranexamic Acid (TXA) in preventing severe blood loss for women who have just given birth. We will investigate if TXA when injected into the muscle of a woman who has just delivered a baby can prevent severe bleeding from occurring”, said Prof. Muganyizi.

Prof. Muganyizi further said that severe blood loss following childbirth remains the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, including Tanzania. The results of this research could revolutionalise postpartum care, particularly in lower-level healthcare facilities where intravenous administration may be challenging. The outcomes have the potential to shape global healthcare guidelines and provide a lifeline to countless women at risk of postpartum hemorrhage.

The study will be conducted in multiple healthcare facilities, including Muhimbili National Hospital, Mbeya Zonal Referral Hospital and numerous Regional Referral Hospitals namely, Mbeya, Amana Mwananyamala, Temeke, Tumbi, Morogoro, Dodoma and Mount Meru.

According to the World Health Organisation, approximately one-third of maternal deaths in Tanzania are attributed to severe blood loss. By investigating the use of TXA, the researchers intend to develop alternative protocols that can be implemented globally, ultimately saving more women's lives.

A study on Caesarean Section

Another study titled “Safe Caesarian Section”, brings together researchers from UDSM-MCHAS in a collaboration with Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Jhpiego, the World Health Organisation, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the University of Birmingham (UK). Again, this is a three-year project expected to kick-off in January 2024.

The Principal Investigator, UDSM-MCHAS academic, Dr. Bernard Mbwelle intimated with the CMU that the research will be carried out in Mbeya Region at Mbeya Regional Referral Hospital, Mbalizi Designated District Hospital and selected District Hospitals (Igawilo, Tukuyu, Chunya and Mbarali).

The University community and stakeholders have commended the UDSM-MCHAS for taking initiatives to solicit funds to conduct studies that address people’s problems and thus improve livelihoods and contribute significantly to the development of the country. The Deputy Vice Chancellor-Academic, Prof. Bonaventure Rutinwa noted that these researches are in line with UDSM role which is to do research for public service.

4-year project worth TZS 10 billion to fight neurocysticercosis

In March 2023, MCHAS in collaboration with various partners secured a 4-year project worth 4.2 Million Euros (TZS 10.645 billion) to fight Taeniasis/Neurocysticercosis (NCC) disease in Sub-Saharan Africa. The project, whose Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator are Dr Bernard J. Ngowi and Dr Mkunde S. Chachage, aimed to improve health outcomes of NCC patients, provide a blueprint for meaningful implementation research and demonstrate to policy makers how research can strengthen healthcare systems.

In the project, which was funded by the European Commission (EU) and began on 1st April 2023, MCHAS is partnering with other four institutions namely Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro Tanzania; University of Zambia, Lusaka Zambia; R-evolution worldwide srl - Impresa Sociale, Italy; and Universiteit Ghent, Ghent Belgium. The total budget for all five institutions is 4.2 million Euros, while for UDSM-MCHAS is 1.62 million Euros (TZS 4.105 billion).

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