Interns with Child and Family Health International (CFHI) in Tanzania complete rotations in a variety of clinical and community care facilities. This program offers the unique opportunity to interact with health professionals at the regional, district, and rural levels. Interns will split their days. In the morning, they will have clinical rotations at a regional hospital and rural health centers and take part in community-based public health initiatives. In the afternoons, interns will work with a local grassroots non-profit organization working to educate and empower the caretakers of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Interns will work on caretaker-focused initiatives for women in the community, through health and life skills workshops. Programs are aimed at improving the lives of the women, and by extension, the orphans and vulnerable children in their care. This is a great opportunity for students interested in pre-med, pre-nursing, pre-pharmacy, and public health.
Founded in 1992 by Dr. Evaleen Jones, Child Family Health International (CFHI) offers educational and community health programs at 20+ sites in 11 countries. To date, their programs have 7000+ alumni from 35 countries. Many participants in the programs are medical students who spend 4 weeks on rotations. The joint program with IE3 allows for 10 weeks of rotations for pre-med, pre-nursing, and public health students.
In the words of CFHI Executive Director Dr. Jessica Evert:
“…CFHI provides [individuals] with opportunities to learn about global health while imbedded in existing health systems and social services sectors alongside local community members and champions. The context is so important in order to impart a broad-based understanding of the interplays between disease processes, social circumstances, poverty, resiliency, geopolitical realities, historical contexts, culture, and the complexities of health and wellness. CFHI utilizes an asset-based engagement model, empowering local communities to own the educational narrative in order to transform the minds and hearts of young people so they are positioned to be the partners (both internationally and locally) that are necessary to achieve health equity and social justice. CFHI's expertise is in preserving the authenticity of the community's expertise and presenting 'real-life' global health, while nesting programs in gold-standard educational pedagogies and safety standards…”
Interns in this program will spend 10 weeks in Arusha, Tanzania. 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.
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:
* Fees vary based on medical history and insurance coverage
The CFHI Host Site Fees Includes:
Participants will stay in a well-furnished and comfortable house located in a small, very safe, and close-knit neighborhood. Located approximately 15 minutes from downtown Arusha, the house has a gated yard, a security guard, with an in-house cook and housecleaner.
Two meals per day are provided in the house. Internet service, telephones, drinking water, and hot water are all included. Students will be picked up and dropped off for their clinical rotations and other program-related activities each day.
“I loved the amount of independence and learning I did. Though I have had medical internships and other “adult” jobs in the US, it was a different experience to go across the globe on my own and work. It was almost like I was pushed out of the nest, so to speak, and found my footing. I made some really great friends from both the local area and from other countries (other medical students from Holland and Australia). I was given a lot of freedom for my work for the health NGO and got to put to work some of my previous experience with marketing, which was very fun. I also learned so much about the healthcare structure by rotating throughout different departments and in different levels of healthcare. Though it was challenging to acclimate to the pace of life at first, I learned to take a step back and appreciate spending time with others instead of continually going on to the next thing. It is also important that I learned to evaluate medicine not just from a scientific standpoint, but to consider social and economic consequences of treatment…I got to experience the culture more fully and create really great memories. Overall, I think it was an amazing immersive experience and would completely recommend it to other students even a little interested in medicine or public health or related fields.”
-Amanda, University of Washington ‘’
“My work schedule varies greatly. Some days are spent exclusively at healthcare facilities (regional hospital, district hospital, health center, or dispensary). Some days I spend all day working on a nutrition program I am helping the organization plan. And other days will be spent at the Osiligi village, where Children’s Growth and Development (CGD) focuses on improving the lives of the women and children there. However, most days it is a combination of any of the above duties. Besides that, weekends are very open, and interns are allowed to do whatever they’d please during this time…Overall, the balance between work life and “fun” life is pretty easy to maintain because of the laid-back nature of the culture.
CFHI’s local partner-Children Growth and Development (CGD), is newly established. The organization works with women’s groups and tries to impact children (including the orphans) through the women in the community…CGD has been very good with helping to create projects that interest the interns, while also benefitting the organization…they are fairly newly established so there is plenty of work to be done…I gotten to experience how public health organizations have to ease in to initiating change. The new projects I will be working on align with the professional goals I had set for myself because I will be working on nutrition programming…I also would love to create a useful nutrition program that can be versatile enough to use in various villages, and not only the one CGD is currently working with. On an almost daily basis I am working on the nutrition program, as there is a lot to consider, culturally speaking, when creating such a plan. I am creating products (nutrition program, newsletter, etc.) that I’m proud to include on my resume.
I spent the first two weeks of rotations in the Mt. Meru Regional Hospital. Wow. Things sure are different compared to healthcare settings, regulations, and practices in the United States! the interns and doctors are more than willing to teach and explain everything to us, and patients don’t seem to mind either…I tried to come into this experience with very few expectations, because I honestly had NO idea what was to come. The hospital is very accommodating regarding what you’d like to observe, so that is helpful in my goal of seeing lots of specialties.
I already knew I was an independent person when it came to being in the US, but I wasn’t really sure how that would translate to being in Tanzania. Thankfully, my independence has actually increased since being here…I went into the internship with few expectations. I think that while having such an experience it is good to have this mindset, but it’s also crucial to be prepared (meaning you can’t have absolutely zero expectations). I quickly found that the nervousness/anxiety I had prior to leaving wasn’t necessary whatsoever. Yes, I had the typical travel mishaps, but everything worked itself out and makes for good stories later on! The 100% exposure to healthcare problems, public health efforts, and even culture in general taught me so much, not only about Tanzania or other developing countries, but also about the US, and our systems, culture, health, politics, etc. I’ve always been a critical thinker, and tend to analyze stuff, but now I do it so much more since having spent 10 weeks in a different culture gives you something else to compare things to. Lastly, it was very satisfying to be able to follow along in the clinics and also in the Children’s Growth and Development Organization’s discussions, and understand what was happening because of what I had already learned in my courses at Oregon State. This was an academic experience, but I think I am most pleased with the personal growth that has happened as a result.”
-Althea Hinds-Cook, Oregon State University
Summer: January 25
Fall: April 15
Winter: September 1
Spring: November 15
Prior experience in health care settings preferred