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TOUR:  Shinda Malaria hosts newly appointed Director of Science in Kagera

Oct. 3, 2023 9:00
TOUR:  Shinda Malaria hosts newly appointed Director of Science in Kagera
Dr. Dunstan Bishanga, the Chief of Party for Shinda Malaria and Director of Science (DoS) at Ifakara, Dr. Ally Olotu visit Mugana Hospital in Kagera | Photo Credit: KMC

From 2-3 October, senior management officials at Ifakara Health Institute paid a courtesy visit to Kagera region to observe on-ground progress of Shinda Malaria's initiatives in the area.

The delegation, led by Dr. Dunstan Bishanga, the Chief of Party for Shinda Malaria, included the newly appointed Director of Science (DoS) at Ifakara, Dr. Ally Olotu, Dr. Kefas Mugittu, TES Advisor, and Prof. Erasmus Kamugisha from the Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences - Bugando (CUHAS-Bugando).

Health Center Visits 

The delegation began their visit with a courtesy call to Nkwenda Health Center, Shinda Malaria’s  designated site for Therapeutic Efficacy Study, following the discovery of drug resistant malaria in the Kagera region.

Dr. Said Ngeta, the facility's manager, warmly greeted the delegation and provided them with an overview of the malaria situation in Nkwenda. He highlighted the collaborative efforts between the health facility and Shinda Malaria in their joint mission to eliminate malaria in the region.

During their tour of the facility, the delegation had the opportunity to explore various departments and witness the activities carried out by the study team. They also had the chance to meet with patients who had participated in the study.

After the facility tour, Dr. Olotu expressed gratitude to the Nkwenda Health Center's management for their ongoing dedication and for carrying out this unique study. Dr. Olotu also conveyed a commitment to future collaborations between the facility and Ifakara, should such opportunities arise in the near future.

The delegation wrapped up their first day by visiting Kitwechenkura dispensary, situated in Kyerwa district, an area heavily affected by malaria. During this visit, the delegation learned about the factors contributing to these infections and the strategies employed by Shinda Malaria to alleviate this burden on the local community, with special attention to the well-being of women and children.

Meeting with Shinda Malaria Staff in Kagera 

During the second day of their visit, the delegation had a meeting with the Shinda Malaria team. They were briefed on the project's activities in the region. Additionally, the staff had the opportunity to extend their congratulations to Dr. Olotu on his recent appointment, a visit that marked his inaugural trip to the Kagera region as the institute’s DoS.

Next, the delegation proceeded to Zamzam Health Center, where they were welcomed by Dr. Boniphace Kayegeji, the facility manager, and the malaria focal person for Bukoba District Council. Dr. Kayegeji expressed his appreciation for the valuable support received from Shinda Malaria, particularly in the fields of malaria case management and malaria in pregnancy. He also offered a brief overview of the malaria situation in Bukoba District Council, highlighting its lower prevalence rate of just 1%, which stands in contrast to other districts in the region.

At the culmination of their mission, the delegation journeyed to Mugana CDH in the Missenyi district, where they gained insights into the diverse initiatives undertaken by the facility, including their efforts in providing malaria services. Dr. Bishanga concluded the meeting with gratitude, extending thanks to the management of Mugana CDH for graciously hosting the project and for their unwavering support and collaboration with the Shinda Malaria project.