The Department of Parasitology and Medical Entomology was first established under the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Dar es Salaam in 1970 as one of the departments in the Division of Community Medicine. The department was divided into two units: the main department was located in the Faculty of Medicine campus while the Service Unit was located in the Central Pathology Laboratory of the then Muhimbili Referral Hospital.
The main department had the following components: The Teaching Laboratory (which was shared between the department of Parasitology/Medical Entomology and the department of Microbiology/Immunology); the Research and Preparatory Laboratory; the Insectorium; and the Animal House. In 1977 the Faculty of Medicine and the Referral Hospital were merged into one Parastatal Institution – The Muhimbili Medical Centre.
Prior to the establishment of the Parasitology/Medical Entomology department, the teaching of parasitology and entomology was carried out by part-time teachers at the then Swiss Tropical Institute which was headed by Professor Geigy. Students needed to spend a sufficient period of time in these contexts in order to complete the course. Since the department’s establishment, all parasitology and medical entomology courses are taught at the Faculty of Medicine. Currently medical parasitology and entomology is taught to the following groups of students: MD II, DDS II, B.Pharm. II, B.Sc. (Nursing) II, and B.Sc. (Environmental Health) III. The department also runs the Advanced Diploma in Medical Laboratory Sciences (ADMLS) in Medical Parasitology/Entomology which is a four semester program. Medical Parasitology/Entomology is also taught to MD III Control of Communicable Diseases (CDC) which includes a field study of two weeks duration. In addition, the teaching of applied parasitology for major parasitic diseases is taught to fifth year MD in the form of seminars.
The department also runs a Masters degree course in Medical Parasitology/Entomology (M.Sc. PE). This is a four semester degree course that started in the academic year 2009/2010. This course is offered to candidates possessing MD, DDS, B. Pharm, B.Sc (N), and B.Sc (Env. Sc.) degrees as a first priority, but also accepts applicants with degrees in Zoology as second priority, and lastly to applicants with a Biology-related degree. The department also teaches medical parasitology and entomology to M.Sc. (Tropical Diseases Control), M. Med. (Community Health), M. Sc. (Applied Epidemiology), M.Sc. (Epidemiology & Laboratory Management) and the Master of Public Health degree (MPH).
The department is involved in research projects in the following areas: malaria especially in chemotherapy and epidemiology; schistosomiasis especially operational research in epidemiology and control; soil-transmitted helminths especially in epidemiology and control; Taenia solium infection and cysticercosis (both human and porcine); and also research on effects of parasitic infections on reproductive health. Members of the department do contribute to several research networks including SIDA/SAREC. They also provide consultancy for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare as well as the Ministry of Education and Vocational training especially in the area of school health.
SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
P.O. Box 65015
Dar es Salaam
Tel: Direct: +255 22 2153371, Tel : +255 22 2150302-6 (Ext. 1281 Dean, 1282 OMS)