MIA Says a Reluctant Good Bye to Tanzania
Women's Clinic is Relocated

It was a tough decision but Medicine in Action is having to put our African missions on hold for the time being.  The group we worked with in Tanzania, IHP has moved their operation and has changed their focus away from women's health.   We hope to be going back to African within the next couple of years.  For now, we will concentrate on Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Uhuru means freedom:
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Tanzania is a beautiful country, home to the Serengeti, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro. Unfortunately, however, Tanzania is also a country of extreme poverty. Citizens of Tanzania, live in a medical climate plagued by a constant dearth of resources. Access to hospitals and/or services may sometimes require travel by foot for hours.

Over 500 women per 100,000 die during pregnancy or childbirth in Tanzania, as compared to 13 per 100,000 women in the USA. Approximately 80 per 1000 newborn babies will die. Less than half of all pregnant women have access to healthcare. HIV/AIDS is also prevalent in Tanzania. It is estimated that more than half the available hospital beds in the country are occupied by HIV positive patients.

The average live span of a Tanzanian is 52 years of age. Health related problems are pervasive. Poverty is the primary difficulty facing most citizens of this beautiful country. More than one quarter of the population does not have enough money to buy enough food on a daily basis. Approximately half the people cannot meet their daily needs. Children suffer at an alarming rate. Forty-three percent of children under the age of 5 have stunted growth secondary to malnutrition.

Sixty- eight percent of people in the urban setting must fetch their own water, and even less have piped water in rural areas. More than half of the population lives on less than $1 per day. As an example, a teacher in a government school makes approximately $80 monthly.

Approximately half of the country cannot read or write. Primary education, although mandatory, is limited by the lack of money to buy basic school supplies such as pens and paper. Due to extreme poverty in the area, it is hard to keep the children in school. They are frequently brought home to work to support the basic needs of the family.

Nyakato is a small community on the southern shores of Lake Victoria. International Health Partners-Tanzania(IHP-TZ) runs a small hospital and clinic that provides medical care to the surrounding community. MIA has partnered with IHP-TZ offering medical services, patient education, and help in building local capacity.

Missions are typically 10 working days. MIA volunteers stay in guest houses or a hostel on the hospital grounds. We work from about 8am until 6pm with a break for lunch. We take care of both medical and surgical patients. It is important to finish working on time since many of our patients and the local staff must walk home at night. Volunteers find the experience very gratifying and many on our team continue to help on a long term basis.

If you are interested in volunteering in Tanzania, please contact us at info@medicineinaction.org.

Download this useful guide for mission trips