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M U H I M B I L I   M E D I C A L   R E S E A R C H   C E N T R E

National Institute for Medical Research

Muhimbili Medical Research Centre

Staff Profile


Staff Profile

Mbutolwe Esther Mwakitalu is a Principal research scientist with extensive research experience for over 20 years on epidemiology and control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), particularly lymphatic filariasis (LF). She was among the first team that conducted mapping in Tanzania to establish magnitude and extent of LF problem before establishing the first Mass Drug Activities (MDA) in Mafia, Coast District, the first of its own in Africa. Mwakitalu obtained Masters of Philosophy in Parasitology from the Liverpool school of Tropical Medicine with the Thesis Title: Establishment of Lymphatici Filariasis Programme in Tanzania and the impact of treatment with combination therapy of ivermectin and albendazole in Mafia Archipelago. She also obtained a Doctor of Philosophy on Epidemiology of Lympatic Filariasis and other Neglected Tropical Diseases in Urban settings in Tanzania. Mwakitalu conducted operational research in different areas in the country as well as training trainers of trainers (ToTs) in the Country and Africa. She trained ToT in Malawi and helped the Country to start its MDA. She has also been used as a temporary advisor to APOC/WHO on evaluation of impact of MDA on infection of O. volvulus in endemic areas. Mwakitalu also served as Assistant Director for LF Control programme in the Country and held the position of Head for Department of Monitoring and Evaluation at the National Institute for Medical Research. She has leadership skills and good interpersonal relationship. She has supervised a number of Masters and PhD students.