Ms. Josephine Mgaya graduated from University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Tanzania in Microbiology and Chemistry. She specialized in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) with a Postgraduate Diploma in Haemoglobinopathy. She is currently pursuing the MSc by Research and Publication at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS). She has worked with MUHAS Sickle Cell Programme as a Laboratory Scientist for over 10 years and has specialized in diagnostic services for SCD: haemoglobin electrophoresis isoelectric focusing and High Performance Liquid Chromatography(HPLC) in one of the few laboratories in the country to be able to perform all these tests. She believes the provision of efficient testing systems is key to both SCD care and research. As head of Research Laboratory she manages personnel, quality assurance activities as well as maintaining the biorepository.
Ms. Mgaya spent 2 years at the National Institutes of Health NHLBI’s Laboratory of Early Sickle Mortality Prevention in Bethesda MD USA where she studied the biochemical impact of Hydroxyurea (HU) therapy in SCD patients by measuring gene expression to try to determine early indicators of effectiveness of HU. Josephine’s interest is to study interventions for individuals with SCD including supportive measures such as early detection and management of complications associated with HU therapy to improve the standard of care for SCD individuals. In addition to her experience as a Laboratory Scientist through her work with the Sickle Cell Programme she has vast experience in running SCD clinics both for routine care and research purposes. She has been involved in the development of both SCD management and Newborn Screening (NBS) guidelines and in the establishment of the Newborn Screening programme for SCD in Tanzania and contributed in establishing NBS standard operating procedures including those used for sample processing diagnosis results interpretation and feedback to patients. Josephine serves as Tanzania Site Coordinator for SickleGenAfrica coordinating all project activities. In SPARCO, she is coordinating the Standards of Care (SoC) and Skills activities for the consortium while working closely with the Chair of the SoC and Skills Working Group.