Researches-On Going Projects

1. Dr. Ikupa Moses (Gender Unit)

Project Title: Gender Awarness and Transformation through Education (GATE) project

Summary:Gender Awareness and Transformation through Education (GATE) is a collaborative engagement project between DUCE and Trinity College Dublin. The project goal is to support the development of gender expertise and capacities in research and education at DUCE as well as development of a Centre of Excellence in gender equality. In addition, the project is meant to strengthen institutional partnerships between higher education institutions in Ireland and Tanzania on gender equality.

Duration: Three years starting Dec 2018 to Dec 2021

Department/unit owning: DUCE gender Unit

Funder: Irish Aid

2. Dr. Amani Lusekelo (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences)

Project Title: Datooga Lexico-grammar of Motion in a Dialectological and

Historical Perspective (DALGOM).

Summary: This collaborative research (University of Dar es Salaam at DUCE & University of Hamburg, German) looks at the inherent properties of the grammar of Datooga (also called Taturu), an under-researched Southern Nilotic language cluster in Tanzania. The research project addresses the dialectological variations of the five groups of Datooga, namely Barbayiga (Hanang), Buradiga (Igunga), Rotigeenga (Bunda), Bianjida (Itigi), and Gisamjanga (Mbulu).  At the end of the three successive years, immediate anticipated outcomes with be as followed: 2 doctoral theses, 1 MA dissertation, 4 journal articles. The details are offered in the section of the people. Long-term plans include assistance in the writing of Grammar Book of Datooga and Dictionary of Datooga in collaboration with Datooga Bible Translation at Haydom (Mbulu).

3. Dr. Siana Nkya (Department of Biological Sciences)

Project Title: To develop precision medicine approaches to improve effectiveness of Hydroxyurea treatment for Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) in low and middle income countries (LMIC)

Funder: American Society of Hematology

Summary: Fetal hemoglobin (HbF) is known as a major modulator of disease severity. Hydroxyurea (HU), the only available therapy for SCD in LMIC, is known to increase levels of HbF. However, the response to HU therapy varies from one patient to another. Baseline HbF levels at the time of therapy initiation is believed to largely influence HU response. It is important to investigate HU response in the Tanzanian population where most of the patients posses low levels of HbF. This study will investigate the genetic factors(pharmacogenomics) that may influence and predict HU response in patients receiving HU treatment in Tanzania.

4. Dr. Siana Nkya (Department of Biology)

Project Title: Development of a remotely accessible novel precision mobile DNA technology for the diagnosis of hemoglobinopathies in sub-Saharan Africa

Funder: The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World, TWAS. 15/01/19-14/01/21, Role: PI

Summary: Increased survival of individuals with SCD can be achieved by early diagnosis by newborn screening (NBS) and comprehensive care. In Africa no country has succeeded in establishing NBS-SCD as a sustained health intervention. Factors that negatively impact on the sustainability of NBS programmes include the cost of the current screening technologies. In addition, only a limited number of hemoglobin variants can be identified by these tests. DNA based methods are more accurate and sensitive, especially in the neonatal period. However, DNA methods that are currently available are more expensive and require a longer turnaround time than the conventional tests. We propose to develop a low-cost, low maintenance, remote access mobile DNA analysis for infant/early childhood screening for hemoglobinopathies including SCD.

5. Dr. Siana Nkya (Department of Biology)

Project Title: African Newborn Screening & Early Intervention Consortium in Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania.

Funder: American Society of Hematology July 2019-July 2021, Role: National Coordinator for Tanzania

Summary: The birth prevalence of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) in Tanzania 8 per 1000. Newborn Screening (NBS) and early intervention will improve childhood survival by up to 70%. Tanzania aims to introduce NBS screening in 5 regions, which corresponds to sites with existing or proposed sickle cell centres by the Ministry of Health (MoH). These regions, with hospitals in brackets, include Dar-es-Salaam [(MNH and MUHAS Academic Medical Centre (MAMC)], Dodoma (Benjamin Mkapa Hospital (BMH)), Mwanza (Bugando Medical Centre (BMC), Kilimanjaro (KCMC), Mbeya (Mbeya Referral Hospital) and Zanzibar (Mnazi Mmoja Hospital MMH, Mtwara (MH) and Tabora (TH). Tanzania will screen 10,000 babies from 2 regions in Year 1 and scale up to 20, 0000 babies from 5 regions in Year 2. Participating sites in Year 1 have been identified based on previous and existing NBS initiatives, accessibility to the screening laboratories and availability of comprehensive care. Four sites are based in Dar-es-Salaam es Salaam, being served by MUHAS while 2 sites are in Mwanza and will be served by BMC. SCD clinics are available at 5 sites in Dar-es-Salaam and in BMC. In year 2, three regions will be added, Dodoma and Tabora which will be served by BMC and Zanzibar which will be served by MUHAS.

6. Dr. Dativa Joseph Shilla (Department of Chemistry)

Project Title: Risk Perception of Plastic Pollution in Tanzania: The Role of Citizen Science Approach

Funder: The Association of Common Wealth Universities –Blue CharterRole: Co-PI

Project duration:  3 years (2019 to 2021).

Summary: The overall goal of the proposed project is to reduce plastic pollution in urban terrestrial and aquatic environment in Tanzania by using citizen science approach in improving the risk perception of plastic pollution and to increase the level of collaboration between scientist, citizens, and NGOs, resulting in efficient, high-quality data collection and monitoring programs. Specifically, this study design has been informed by the following questions: what is the extent of the community’s knowledge and appreciation of plastic pollution? What political measures have taken place to address the problems of plastic pollution? What are the roles of, and how citizen science could be used to improve the risk perception of plastic pollution? How citizen science could incorporate new technologies (e.g., mobile Applications) in tracking, collection, and reporting of plastic debris near waterways and water bodies?

7. Dr. Mabula Nkuba, Mgode, S., Mkinga, G., Hermenau, K., & Hecker, T.(2018).

Improving psychological wellbeing, school learning and preventing maltreatment of orphans: A cluster-randomized controlled study to evaluate the efficacy of the preventative intervention “Interaction Competencies with Children – for caregivers (ICC-C)”. This project intends to support primary school teachers in Dar es Salaam through enhancing parenting in orphanages. It focuses on improving parenting and reducing the use of violent discipline strategies so as to improve students’ psychological well -being and school achievements.

8. Dr. Mabula Nkuba, M, Md, I., Msuya, W. & Badi, L. (2018).

Evaluating the impact of the Out of School Study Group (OSSG)- as an alternative education pathway among Out of School girls in Temeke Municipality, Dar es Salaam.

The study is conducted in Temeke Municipality following an intervention which aimed at providing an alternative education pathways for girl students who dropped from schools due to various reasons. Specific programs are developed relevant to girls’ interests and offered to them in attempt to make girls have their own innovative engagements which are more likely to help them earn a living and be independent. Very good results marked by an increase in personal values have been realized.

9. Dr. Fulgence Katherine &  and Shavega, T. (2018).

An assessment of ECE teachers competences in Tanzania.

The role of a competent teacher to the development of a child in all domains from the early years has been recognized. The study assesses the competencies of early childhood education teachers in rural Tanzania after the introduction of a compulsory one year of pre-primary education (PPE) (Education and Training Policy [ETP] 2014. The study was qualitative with interviews held with education stakeholders from the national to the local level including ECE teachers and school heads. In total, 180 participants provided relevant data for this study. Findings show that ECE teachers reflect competence gaps in nine areas; practical, discipline, integrated early childhood education, pedagogical, skills, professional, emotional, cultural and interpersonal competences. Based on the gaps, the study developed competence profile for ECE teachers in Tanzania which include; Knowledge(content, pedagogical, professional and contemporary issues) competencies; Skills (Leadership and Management, research, practical and evaluation, pedagogical, Life skills, Child mental, physical, emotional and psycho-social development skills)and values and attitudes (in particular professional ethics and code of conduct). The study recommends for continuous professional development training to the existing ECE teachers.

10. Dr. Jared Bakuza.

Feeding Habits of the Sacred Ibis and its Impact on Snail Abundance in Swampy Areas of Dar es Salaam. The project is funded by Waterbirds Society of USA.

11. Dr. Neema Mogha, Dr. Felista Mwingira and Dr. Siana Nkya

Research Project on Poor Results in Science Subjects for Tanzania Secondary School Students. Research is being carried out in Dar es Salaam, Mbeya, Ruvuma and Kilimanjaro.