This proposed training program is a renewal of our current 'Tanzania Infectious Disease Research Training Program'that is focused on pediatric infectious diseases in Tanzania. Over the past twenty years, the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Muhimbili University Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) Partnership has contributed significantly to training and research capacity in Tanzania. The goal of this training program is to develop skilled researchers in Tanzania in the area of pediatric infectious diseases and nutrition. We propose to provide research training to public health leaders in epidemiological, operations and health services, laboratory, and clinical areas, with a focus on childhood diarrheal diseases and acute respiratory infections. This program will harness scientific knowledge and skills to enhance prevention, treatment and control of pediatric infectious diseases causing major morbidity and mortality in Tanzania. The program will be structured to provide an appropriate balance of short-, medium-and long-term training opportunities in Boston and Tanzania for participants from Tanzania. The principle strategies are: year-long postdoctoral training, short-term postdoctoral training, intensive short courses, and symposia. In total the program will train 5 year-long postdoctoral fellows in Boston, 15 short-term postdoctoral fellows at HSPH with continued mentoring over the subsequent 2 years in Dar es Salaam, and provide short course instruction to 300 individuals. Additionally hundreds will be reached through the annual symposia. Trainees will benefit from exposure to the ongoing collaboration with Tanzanian institutions including epidemiological and laboratory studies, clinical trials, and operations research programs. These activities will provide unique training opportunities for study design and implementation, data analysis and career advancement. Research funds will be awarded to returning postdoctoral trainees, in order to facilitate integration into the research setting in Tanzania. Deliverables include manuscript development and the development of sound research proposals. Research findings will be disseminated to health care providers, policy makers, students and faculty at academic institutions, and the broader scientific community via an annual symposium in Dar es Salaam. Harvard and Muhimbili faculty with extensive experience in pediatric infectious disease and nutrition research will mentor trainees throughout the program. A Training Advisory Group will evaluate ongoing research progress, and an Executive Committee will be charged with program oversight. The renewal submission accounts for lessons learned from the current training program, including the need for biostatistical support at MUHAS to advance efforts by trainees on their data analysis, and more instruction and closer mentoring in manuscript development. The training program will develop a cadre of skilled public health professionals and facilitate sustainable capacity in pediatric infectious disease and nutrition research in Tanzania. The training program has been developed, and will be implemented, in collaboration with Tanzanian partners.

Public Health Relevance

Of the 7.6 million deaths in children younger than 5 years in 2010, 64% were attributable to infectious causes [1] and malnutrition is the underlying contributing factor in over one third of all child deaths. The Tanzania Infectious Disease Research Training Program, proposed by a the Harvard School of Public Health and Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Science, will harness scientific knowledge and skills to enhance prevention, treatment and control of pediatric infectious diseases causing major morbidity and mortality in Tanzania and develop stronger capacity related to nutrition given its central role in the incidence and severity of infection.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
International Research Training Grants (D43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Sina, Barbara J
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Harvard University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Kamenju, Pili; Liu, Enju; Hertzmark, Ellen et al. (2016) Nutritional status and complementary feeding among HIV-exposed infants: a prospective cohort study. Matern Child Nutr :
Chirande, Lulu; Charwe, Deborah; Mbwana, Hadijah et al. (2015) Determinants of stunting and severe stunting among under-fives in Tanzania: evidence from the 2010 cross-sectional household survey. BMC Pediatr 15:165