Germans Commit South African Company to Establish ‘State of the Art’ Diagnostic Center at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Moshi, Tanzania

KCMC will now be able to provide improved diagnostics with a wider range of lab tests including those previously sent abroad…


By TZ Business News Staff and Agencies.

The South African Company Roche Diagnostics has announced a partnership with Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) and Philipps-University of Marburg in Germany,  to strengthen diagnostics infrastructure and capacity in Moshi, Tanzania.

The three-year partnership to establish a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for diagnostics in Tanzania  is co-financed by the Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) from public funds of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The collaboration aims to create a state-of-the-art diagnostics centre of excellence through driving sustainable capacity building, infrastructure optimization and establishing the necessary skill sets at KCMC to meet local needs according to a Roche statement made available to TZ Business News.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of diagnostics in future-proofing health systems; and this project is a step towards a laboratory facility that will bring reliable and timely diagnostics in communicable diseases including SARS-CoV-2 (Covid 19), Tuberculosis and HIV as well as in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes amongst others.

The diagnostics centre of excellence will drive improved disease management and develop local capabilities to meet the changing healthcare needs in the country.

The idea to build Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) was born 1961, with capital funds assured from Luther Hjalpen of Sweden , Central Agency and Bread for the World of Germany, coupled with an anonymous Christian donation of USD $209,000.00 from Texas, USA. Site work began in April 1965. The cornerstone for the hospital was laid by the first President of Tanzania, Julius K. Nyerere, on 8th June 1965.

“Diagnostic testing is a fundamental component in disease prevention and management. With a history of over 70 years in Africa, Roche is uniquely positioned to offer expertise in diagnostics infrastructure, systems optimization and process harmonization. These are critical to scale up testing in Africa and ultimately provide patients with improved quality of life”, says Allan Pamba, Africa Network Lead, Roche Diagnostics.

Allan Pamba

With this project, KCMC will be able to provide improved diagnostics with a wider range of lab tests including those previously sent abroad and shortened turnaround times for lab results. The project will also support capacity building by training of laboratory scientists, technologists, phlebotomists and biomedical engineers.

“Non-communicable diseases are the second health burden (after infectious diseases) in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). More people die of cardiovascular, pulmonary disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and cancers in SSA than in the northern hemisphere. Laboratory diagnostics is an important pillar in identifying these patients early, monitoring their treatments and developing preventive strategies,” says Prof. Dr. Harald Renz, Director Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Philipps-University Marburg and President of the German Society of Laboratory Medicine (DGKL).

Prof. Dr. Harald Renz

“The new Centre of Excellence will provide a novel solution to help tackling this important global health problem in northern Tanzania and beyond”.

“Germany has a longstanding government to government cooperation with Tanzania in the health sector, particularly on mother child care. I am glad, that we can add today a public private partnership with Roche, financed through the DEG, a subsidiary of KfW development bank, that will boost laboratory capacities at KCMC in Moshi, a leading hospital in the country,” says Mrs Regine Hess, German Ambassador to Tanzania.

Her Excellency Mrs Regine Hess, German Ambassador to Tanzania

Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre is currently one among four Zonal Consultant hospitals in Tanzania. It was formally established as a Zonal Referral Consultant hospital owned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT) under the Good Samaritan Foundation (GSF) in 1971.

The Tanzania Government elevated the Christian Hospital to the level of a referral hospital to serve the northern, eastern and central zone of Tanzania. Its record in Medical Services, Research, and Education has commanded significant influence in East Africa and beyond, the Roche statement reads in part.

In 2011, KCMC continued to carry out its services to people according to its mission statement, “To render God’s healing services to set mankind free from the bondage of sickness, suffering and sin”, “To reflect Christ’s character of love, mercy, compassion and faithfulness in the course of fulfilling the call to care and heal the sick” and “To share God’s grace and love.

 Since 1971 the Hospital has continued to grow, serving the northern, eastern and central zones of Tanzania as a world-class centre for patient care, teaching and research with leading clinical specialty areas and an internationally renowned research institute.