Tanzania known for its beautiful nature reserves and wildlife parks, including the Serengeti National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro, is also one of the most culturally diverse countries on the African continent, with more than 158 distinct local languages spoken. However, behind the well-developed tourism industry, the country still lags behind many of its neighbors in many areas: 75% of the population lives in rural areas, where adequate sanitation and drinking water remain inaccessible to many. Communicable diseases are common- water borne, airborne, vector borne, diarrheal, and sexually transmitted –all are linked to poverty and insufficient education. The program will be based out of Arusha, in northern Tanzania, a city of approximately 2 million people.
In this popular, bustling city and its surrounding communities, program participants will take part in clinical rotations in the mornings through a regional referral hospital, rotate at rural health centers, and take part in community-based public health initiatives. Interns will spend time at a large 500 bed hospital. IN this regional facility there are 4 clinical departments: Internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics. Additional supporting units include ophthalmology, dental, radiology, mental health, anesthesiology, physiotherapy, ICU, pharmacy and administration. Interns will spend time at a smaller public hospital that treats approximately 200 outpatients each day and has a 100 bed capacity for in-patients. Services offered include pharmaceutical, antenatal and postnatal care, deliveries, ultrasound, X-ray and other laboratory services, dental care, and eye operations. It has a HIV/AIDS counseling and treatment services center which operates 3 days a week and treats 80-150 patients, including children, with HIV/AIDS related complications. Interns will also have rotations in community health centers. Each health center provides care to approximately 50,000 people and supervises all dispensaries in the division.
In the afternoons, participants will engage with a grassroots local non-profit organization working to improve the lives of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS and their caretakers. This NGO provides workshops supporting to improve socioeconomic and health outcomes. Topics include capacity building for women; nutrition, water sanitation, and agricultural initiatives. Participants may support many of these projects and assist the organization with other tasks such as website editing, creation of promotional material, grant writing and overall administrative support.
This program offers the unique opportunity to interact with health professionals at the regional, district, and rural levels. Learn about the importance of understanding determinants of health and contribute alongside Tanzanians towards community-driven initiatives. Our efforts work toward improving socioeconomic and health outcomes of the local population, including capacity building for women; nutrition, water sanitation, and agricultural initiatives.
NOTE: Rotation availability depends on local conditions. All rotations are subject to change depending on local availability and general Tanzanian holidays. Local coordinators will try and make alternate arrangements if a particular activity or facility is not available during the program month. Restrictions may apply for pre-clinical, and pre-medical students.
CFHI programs are not episodic volunteer experiences, and are not designed to provide service to those who would otherwise not have healthcare. The learning objectives for interns with CFHI are:
- Develop a larger sense of cultural competency
- Observe and develop existing clinical skills
- Broaden public health knowledge
- Develop creativity in problem-solving
- Deepen their commitment to service
- Promote medical supply conservation