Mwanza Intervention Trials Unit ( MITU)

History and background
The Mwanza Intervention Trials Unit (MITU, or unit) was established in 2006 by the Tanzanian National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), with initial funding from the United Kingdom Medical Research Council (MRC). The unit was created to build on the long-standing and highly successful research collaboration at Mwanza between the two institutions.

This collaboration dates back to the late 1980s when the HIV epidemic was rapidly expanding in East Africa. Mwanza was chosen as a site for HIV prevention research, especially since HIV prevalence had not reached high levels and there was a possibility that such research could have a significant impact on the development of the epidemic. The rationale for deciding where to research in Mwanza was the presence of a major tiger research center in the city, which could provide a strong and solid base for cooperation.

For more than 29 years, this collaboration has carried out ground-breaking research studies on the epidemiology and control of HIV and other sexual health problems, with a particular focus on randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of preventive interventions. The first major HIV prevention trial, often known as “the Mwanza trial”, was conducted between 1991 and 1995 as part of a close collaboration between LSHTM, the African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF), NIMR Mwanza and other partners. This was the first trial in the world to demonstrate that improved treatment services for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) could reduce HIV incidence in the general adult population. Through this, the collaboration has built a reputation as one of the leading centres worldwide for HIV prevention research.

During the past 15 years, the Unit has expanded its research portfolio into the following main themes:
>>HIV prevention, care and treatment
>> Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and cervical cancer prevention
>> Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), other chronic diseases and related risk factors
>> Reproductive health-related research

>>Research on the health of adolescents and young people
>Implementation science research

Isamilo Street,Ilemela,Mwanza.
MITU, P.O. Box 11936
Mwanza, Tanzania
Tel: +255 (0)­ 28­ 250 0019