The centre is expected to house a state of the art laboratory which at the same time will be used as a treatment centre for genetic and metabolic diseases such as sickle cell, autism and others.
Speaking yesterday at an International Medical Conference on Genomic and Proteomic Medical Innovation in Dar es Salaam, IPP Executive Chairman Dr Reginald Mengi said the idea is to serve Tanzanians with the best services possible.
“This is a gift to Tanzanians. My desire is to serve people, therefore I will use everything possible to ensure I give back to the people what I have. This is part of giving back,” said Dr Mengi.
The coming of the centre was timely as disorders like sickle- cell anaemia, albinism, stroke, diabetes, autism and others affecting millions of Tanzanians will have stem cell remedies, he declared.
A proposal for the licensing of the centre is currently awaiting approval from the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR).
“Our country will not only benefit from capacity building of future Tanzanian experts through the clinical domains applicable but also in promotion of medical tourism,” he pointed out.
Data from the Neurogen Braion and Spine Institute of India shows that each year in Africa since 2008 at least 800 people fly from Africa to Mumbai where there is such treatment.
In his remarks, the Deputy Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children Dr Faustine Ndungulile commended Dr Mengi for coming up with the idea, saying the government will fully support it.
He directed NIMR officials who were present at the conference to fast-track the approval process.
“The lifespan of Tanzanians stands at 64 years but as time passes there are challenges that emerge in the process such as degenerative disorders and others. Therefore stem cell therapy is the way to go,” he said.
Dr Alok Sharma from the Neurogen Brain and Spine Institute said in his presentation that the best solution to autism, disabilities and cancer is stem cell therapy, noting that the idea to set up the research facility has come at the right time.
The conference was attended by experts from various countries including Egypt, Vietnam, Thailand, the United States and Nigeria.