Was founded in Moshi with the material, financial and human resource support of the government of Tanzania, the Good Samaritan Foundation and the International Foundation for Dermatology. The RDTCis a supra-regional training, research and clinical centre providing facilities for the care of patients with skin disorders, leprosy and sexually transmitted infections and for training health care professionals from different African countries. It works closely with regional, national and international institutions, including the World Health Organisation, to deliver its mission in teaching and clinical service.
The first director of the Center was Professor Henning Grossman and he was succeeded by Professor John Masenga. Together they have established a service and training programme covering all aspects of dermatology, helped by visiting teaching faculty and a strong and expanding local team, which has allowed the development of specific initiatives such as a regional albino programme.
One of the latest projects is an inpatient ward (The Herbert Stiefel Ward), which will be linked to other facilities such as a burns unit. In addition work willSHORTLY start on a small building in the RDTC compound for the training of albinos in local preparation of sun screens and in indoor occupations such as dressmaking. The albino programme has also benefited from the Hats on for Skin health initiative a joint Stiefel/GSK/ILDS project; 2000 hats have already been distributed to patients with albinism in 6 countries and sufficient funds are available for a further 3,000.
This has alerted other donors to the plight of albinos and work to expand the outreach activities of the RDTC beyond the Arusha area is being developed by a branch of the French Rotary.
The principle objective of the Center is the care of skin disease seen in locality together with training leaders of health care at front line level, usually senior clinical officers or nurses, through a two year University based Diploma course; a second training scheme (M. Med) provides for a four year specialist training in dermatovenereology for junior doctors which is now a training pathway recognised for specialist accreditation by 7 African countries. The Diploma course has trained over 230 senior clinical officers from 13 different countries. The students have also performed health service research projects as part of their training and these provide a unique insight into prevalence, need and demand for health care at community level.
With time other facilities, such as a library, a pharmaceutical compounding unit, a student hostel, accommodation for visiting teaching faculty have been added.