Management Team

IHI Branches, Units and Facilities

Dar es Salaam Branch


Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), is headquartered in Mikocheni, Dar es Salaam. The branch functions as the central coordination office, and hosts the offices of the IHI directorate and various centralized support units

Bagamoyo Branch


Bagamoyo branch established in 2005 with a focus on clinical trials. We work closely with Bagamoyo district health authorities and hospital. The branch hosts major research on malaria, tuberculosis and viruses, and IHI's Training Centre

Ifakara Branch


Ifakara town is the birth place of Ifakara Health Institute, and remains our legal address. It is located on the Kilombero Valley, and is the primary home of our malaria vector research program, our chronic diseases clinic & other teams



The beginning: A visit to Ifakara by zoologist Dr. Rudolf Geigy from Switzerland in 1949 marked the beginning of over 50-year history of IHI. 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.

The name “Ifakara” refers to “a place you go to die”, a reflection of the historically high burden of disease in the area, before major control efforts started.

Transformation: 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 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) in 1990.

The following year, 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.’

Flowering era: From the 1990s onward, IHI received an influx of funding and prestigious awards for excellence in health research. In 2008, it received the Prince of Asturias Award – a series of annual prizes awarded in Spain by the Prince of Asturias Foundation to individuals, entities or organizations from around the world who make notable achievements in the fields of sciences,  humanities and public affairs. The aim is to encourage and promote scientific, cultural and humanistic values that form part of mankind’s universal heritage. In 2010, IHI received the (Tanzania) National Award for Science and Technology.

New Era: The first Tanzanian science director, Dr. Andrew Kitua, was appointed in 1993. His successors: Dr. Hassan Mshinda and Dr. Salim Abdulla, built strong teams that took the institute to the high level of excellence, extending operations of the institute to other regions.

In 2009, the institute extended its wings by opening a new branch in the Tanzania’s colonial era capital, Bagamoyo. And three years later, in 2012, Kingani Training Center and Clinical Trials facilities were built.

The sitting Chief Executive Director, Dr. Honorati Masanja, was appointed in 2016. #

Past directors:

1975 – 1977: Gerhard Eichenberger
1978 – 1981: Adrian Zumstein
1981 – 1984: Marcel Tanner
1985 – 1987: Don de Savigny
1987 – 1988: Christoph Hatz
1988 – 1989 Calum MacPherson
1990 – 1994: Thomas Teuscher
1994 – 1997: Andrew Kitua
1997 – 2006: Hassan Mshinda
2008 – 2016: Salim Abdulla

Rudolf Geigy’s (Swiss Tropical Institute) first expedition to Ifakara
Rudolf Geigy and collaborators are invited to Ifakara by the Swiss Capuchin Mission (Edgar Maranta)
Swiss Tropical Institute Field Laboratory (STIFL) founded in Ifakara.
Rural Aid Centre (RAC), a training-school for “Rural Medical Aids,” opens at Ifakara in then Tanganyika
Rural Aid Centre transferred into a Medical Assistants Training Centre (MATC)
MATC handed over to the Tanzanian government
STIFL renamed "Ifakara Centre" and becomes an affiliate of the National Institute for Medical Research, NIMR.
First Tanzanian Scientific Director, Dr. Andrew Kitua, appointed.
Registered as an independent entity (Trust) under the name "Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre, IHRDC".
Dr. Hassan Mshinda appointed as Director (1997-2008).
Dr Salim Abdulla appointed Chief Executive Director (2008 – 2016). Name simplified to "Ifakara Health Institute," abbreviated as “IHI”. Dar Office, where IHI is currently headquartered, opens.
Bagamoyo branch, where the institute’s main lab facilities are located, opens.
Dr. Honorati Masanja appointed as Chief Executive Director


IHI is registered in Tanzania as a Trust (registration 1487, 24 July1996). We are governed by a Board of Governors (BOG) and Board of Trustees (BOT). The BOG is currently chaired by the Director General of Tanzanian Commission of Science & Technology (COSTECH). Other members of BOG and BOT include representatives of Tanzania Ministry of Health, National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Swiss Tropical & Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation (SDC), and Chief Executive Director of IHI, who is also the secretary of both BOT and BOG. The BOT has two sub committees, i.e. Finance, Audit & Risk Committee (FARC), and Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). Our Management Committee consists of Chief Executive Director (Chair), Director of Science, Chief Finance & Systems Officer, and Chief Human Resource & Operations Officer. Our work is organized in four departments i.e: 1) Environmental Health & Ecological Sciences, 2) Interventions & Clinical Trials, 3) Health Systems, Impact Evaluation & Policy, and 4) Training & Capacity Building. We have three major branches in Tanzania (Ifakara, Bagamoyo & Dar es Salaam), and two satellite sites (Rufiji & Dodoma). Our vision is to be a centre of excellence and innovation in health research & development, aiming at maximizing population health gains. Our mission is to develop district-based health research programs, generate new knowledge & information for public health policy and action, and to identify & address priority health needs of our people.

IHI Strategic Plan 2018-2023 
The Ifakara Health Institute (IHI)’s Strategic Plan 2018-2023 has been developed through robust desktop research and analysis, and a broad process of consultation with IHI’s leadership, employees and key stakeholders.

Special Message to Early-Career Scientists

To many early-career scientists and health professionals, Ifakara Health Institute is not merely an employer, but a platform for the brightest and grittiest individuals to come and develop life-changing careers in health and sustainable development. Here you will have all the support, the flexibility and the opportunities you need to identify, investigate, and address our people's priority health needs. And believe it or not, you will have great fun in this league of extraordinary ladies and gentlemen.

ihi-youngstarsIf you want to shape the future of this world,
If you want improve the health of our people,
If you are a committed individual,
If you want wide-spectrum exposure
If you want to change this world,
If you want to create impact,

Then Ifakara Health Institute is your home.

© Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), 2016