SPARCo Clinical Coordinating Center

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SPARCo Clinical Center

Ms. Ondego holds a Diploma in Business Administration at College of Business Education (CBE) in Tanzania. She has more than ten years experience in data entry. She assists Data Officers to prepare data request forms from researchers and fellows. Jesca was actively involved in active surveillance and telephone consultation for follow-up in Covid-19. She is working with SPARCO as Data Clerk to MUHAS Site and as Operational Assistant.

Ms Bukini is currently a PhD student in the Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (2017-2021). Her PhD project aims to investigate Ethical, Legal and Sociocultural Issues (ELSI) around Newborn Screening (NBS) for Sickle Cell Disease in Tanzania. The findings for her PhD project may lead to improving ethical delivery of NBS programs for SCD in Sub-Saharan African contexts. Her goal is to be an expert in the field of Bioethics and specifically ethics in genetics medicine.

Since 2018, she has have been working with the Sickle Cell Program to coordinate patient engagement activities within the program. In partnership with SCD patient organizations across four regions in Tanzania, the programme established an SCD advocacy taskforce that leads SCD patient engagements in Tanzania. She participated in the Sickle in Africa patient engagement forum led by SADaCC in developing and reviewing patient IEC materials.

She was one of the ethics experts in SPARCO and a member of the Sickle in Africa ethics working group. In 2018/ 2019, she was awarded the Commonwealth Split Site Scholarship at the internationally recognized centre of Bioethics and Humanities, The Ethox Centre of University of Oxford, The scholarship afforded her the opportunity to work closely with Prof Mike Parker in the area of ethics and genetics medicine. Technical experiences she gained while at Ethox included, methodologies in bioethics, data analysis and management as well as co-teaching Clinical genetics and genomics classes to 4th year clinical students in Oxford. At MUHAS, she also support teaching and co-supervising Masters Students in the Department of Bioethics and Health Professionalism.

Mr. Makundi is an ICT Specialist with the MUHAS Sickle Cell Programme. He has been with the Sickle Cell Programme since 2013, and is currently based in the SPARCO office in Tanzania. He graduated in 2006 with an Advanced Diploma in Information Technology from Institute of Finance Management in Tanzania. He works on several areas of ICT; these include networking, systems administration particularly extending the reach of information and communications infrastructure to research. He has 10 years ICT and management experience from working at SATCOM Africa, Barclays Bank Tanzania, The Muhimbili Wellcome Programme (Now Sickle Cell Programme), and MUHAS- NewBorn Screening Programme. Currently he works with MUHAS - Sickle Pan-African Research Consortium and MUHAS - H3ABioNet, a Pan African Bioinformatics Network as System Administrator.

Mr. Shabani holds Certificate of Secondary Education Level from Kilangalanga High School. He has more than four (4) years of experience in Office attendant duties. Previously he has worked with Kiluwa Group and Company Limited as Office runner for one year. Currently he works with the MUHAS Sickle Cell Programme as an Office attendant.

Dr Nkya has conducted genetic research in sickle cell disease for 10 years. The primary focus has been to identify the genetic determinants of fetal haemoglobin (HbF) and as part of her PhD, she was able to establish a genetic database of more than 1700 individuals with SCD. This data is available for investigation of genetic variants associated with SCD phenotypes. During her training she has worked closely with the Molecular Hematology department, King’s College London led by Professor Thein, now based at NHLBI and the medical genetics group at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI).

Dr Nkya has gathered extensive knowledge and built networks that support SCD genetic studies in our country. In 2015, she was a part of the team that established the newborn screening programme for SCD in Tanzania and she has gained experience in setting up a laboratory for screening SCD. Although newborn screening is a healthcare programme, it provides opportunities to study and set up preventive interventions including genetic diagnosis of SCD disease modifiers at birth. From 2016, She started to develop independent research on the genomics of HbF and HbF interventions through various awards including the Fogarty Global Health Fellowship sponsored through the University of California, American Society of Hematology Global Research Award (2018-2020) and more recently the Emerging Global Leader award by Fogarty International Center (FIC, 2019-2024).

She has taken part in SPARCO Research Working Group as SPARCO provides her with an opportunity to extend her studies outside of Tanzania. She has led a successful application on SCD disease modifiers awarded by the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) (2020-2023) which will involve Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania sites. Through the experience she has gathered in human genetics and her passion to build genetic capacity in Tanzania, in 2017, she co-founded the Tanzania Human Genetics Society (TSHG) and she is the current President.

Prof Kamuhabwa is a Professor in Pharmacology at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS). His research area of interest is therapeutics and other pharmacological interventions in infectious and non-infectious diseases. His research focus is Malaria, HIV and Neglected Tropic Diseases and has conducted research on malaria during pregnancy, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. As a Professor in Pharmacology, Prof Kamuhabwa has over twenty years' experience in his areas of research.

Prof Sawe is the Head of the Emergency Medicine Department of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS). MUHAS is the main clinical, academic, and medical research center in Tanzania. He is emergency physician and the Chief Medical Officer of the only full capacity public emergency department (ED) in the country of Tanzania, at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH). He also serve as Research and Emergency Medicine (EM) program director at MUHAS, and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. Prior to these roles, he was Chief Resident among the first eight emergency medicine physicians ever in Tanzania – locally trained and graduated in 2013 from MUHAS. He is committed to research and development of emergency care in Sub-Saharan Africa. His specific research interests include emergency trauma care and acute complications of chronic illnesses. He completed a National Institutes of Health (NIH) mentored research fellowship through the University of California Global Health Institute in 2015.

Prof Pallangyo is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at Muhimbili University of Health & Allied Sciences (MUHAS), He has served in various leadership positions, namely—Head Department of Internal Medicine; Dean, School of Medicine; Principal of a Constituent University College; and Vice Chancellor. His principal research focus has included HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and research capacity building aimed at providing better solutions to healthcare challenges and provision of better health care and service delivery in Tanzania. He has more than 30 years of successful international collaborative experiences with institutions and staff based in Africa, Europe and the USA. In his previous role on this project he has served as co-investigator, providing institutional support and guidance for creation of TRIM-TB.

His research and leadership background proves his suitability to serving as a part of the leadership of the new Infectious Disease Institute at MUHAS for the TRIM-TB team. His research and leadership background proves his suitability to serving as the Tanzanian Program Director for the current DBM Fogarty HIV Training Grant.