Over the past ten years, the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences (MUCHS) Partnership has contributed significantly to training and research capacity in Tanzania. Based on the burden of childhood morbidity and mortality in Tanzania, we have jointly identified pediatric infectious diseases as our next priority for research training. We propose to train leaders in this area of research, with a focus on childhood diarrheal diseases, respiratory infections, and tuberculosis. Based on findings from an in-depth needs assessment, methodological and substantive training will address four principle areas: epidemiological, operations and health services, laboratory, and clinical research. We will conduct training activities in both the United States and in Tanzania in the form of graduate degrees, short-term post-doctoral training, and intensive short courses. Trainees will benefit from exposure to ongoing 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 manuscript development. Trainees will also submit research proposals to international funding mechanisms, including the National Institutes of Health. After peer review, mini-grants will be awarded to returning trainees, in order to facilitate timely project implementation and integration into the research setting in Tanzania. Harvard and Muhimbili faculty with extensive experience in pediatric infectious disease research will mentor trainees throughout the program. An External Advisory Board will evaluate ongoing individual research progress, and an Executive Committee will be charged with program oversight. Research findings will be disseminated to health care providers, students and faculty at academic institutions, policy makers, and the broader scientific community via annual symposia in Dar es Salaam. The proposed training program will develop a cadre of skilled public health professionals, contribute significantly to ongoing research projects, and facilitate sustainable capacity in the field of pediatric infectious disease research in Tanzania.
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