WHO, both at its Headquarters and Regional office in Alexandria, recognized the ability and readiness of TMRI to contribute to its global programme of traditional medicine, and it was designated a WHO Collaborating Centre for Research in Traditional Medicine in 1984. (The office was filled consecutively by two eminent Sudanese: Dr. Tigani Al-Mahi (1959-1964) and Dr. Taha Baasher (1964/7?); both were interested in traditional medicine).
Till 1991, TMRI has been enjoying the status of a WHO Collaborating Centre for Research in TM. Unfortunately, due to ill-advised administrative changes TMRI was demoted to a department under the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research Institute. As such, it lost in time its status as a WHO Collaborating Centre.
In April 2003, efforts have successfully reinstating Traditional Medicine Research Institute, and regained its status as a WHO Collaborating Centre once again in May 2004.