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Community Public Health in Tanzania

Study AbroadStudy Abroad Tanzania

Program Overview

The 4 week Community Public Health study abroad program, in partnership with several medical facilities and NGOs, explores and observes maternal and child health care practices and challenges in Northern Tanzania. Students gain insight into the cultures represented in Tanzania, including the Maasai sub-culture, which is at the core of this stable democratic and tolerant nation. Tanzania, one of the safest countries in Africa, has a population of over 50 million people. Arusha, the capital city and economic hub of the Arusha Region (and the city where students will be based), is home to several government, private and mission-run hospitals, as well as dozens of clinics and dispensaries.

The course will be broken down into three modules, namely Maternal Health, Social and Cultural Context of Health Care in Tanzania, and Child Health Care Practices, providing students with a complex overview of the attitudes and practices of child and maternal health in and around Arusha. Moreover, students will visit communities, clinics and dispensaries in the iconic Ngorongoro, Manyara and Rift Valley regions, as well as a hospital in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Students will also receive medical Swahilli lessons to aid them during their hospital placements and optimize cultural immersion.

Program Dates

To be confirmed


Those enrolling on this program will be studying towards, or have completed, a qualification in nursing, midwifery, medicine, allied health or related fields. In order to thrive and experience the full benefits of this program, participants should be culturally aware and open minded. A good command of the English language is essential to participate in this program as all lectures and tutorials will be conducted in English.


This program is based for the most part in Arusha, the capital city of the Arusha Region in Northern Tanzania. Arusha sits in the shadow of Mt. Meru, on the edge of the eastern branch of the Great African Rift Valley and acts as a very important hub for the East African Community, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Tanzanian tourism industry.  Arusha, a culturally diverse city with a majority Tanzanian population from a variety of backgrounds (including indigenous African, Arab-Tanzanian and Indian-Tanzanian), provides the perfect location and environment for this study abroad program. The city’s strategic position allows easy access to Tanzania’s most famous National Parks, such as Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, and Mt. Kilimanjaro.   Field trips to the Rift Valley and Ngorongoro Highlands are included.

The accommodations included are very comfortable and secure, and provide excellent “home away from home” bases for the program.  All rooms have en-suite bathrooms.  Hearty meals, hot showers and meeting rooms are also provided.

Learning Outcomes

During the course of this program, you can expect to:

  • Gain an understanding of medical norms and practices in pediatric, maternal and maternity care facilities in Tanzania
  • Recognize the work of an organization dedicated to reducing infant mortality due to obstetric fistula
  • Develop your cross-cultural teaching and communication skills through the creation and delivery of healthcare workshops to members of a women’s shelter and women from a traditional Maasai community
  • Gain insight into the cultural perceptions surrounding medicine and medical care in Tanzania
  • Analyze the medical challenges facing Tanzania’s most vulnerable communities, especially women, children and those with disabilities
  • Expand your worldview through authentic, daily cross-cultural interaction with professionals and patients in the communities you engage with

Key Study Topics

  • Midwifery, maternal and pediatric care in developing countries
  • Community health
  • Women’s & children’s rights
  • Impact of culture on healthcare


  • Lectures
  • Prescribed literature
  • Hospital and clinic placements
  • Health workshops for Maasai women
  • Individual presentations
  • Reflective essay

Academic Credit

We will help by supplying you with all the necessary documentation and supporting information you will need to apply for credit through your home university or college.

Program Coordinator

Adrian Maarschalk

Adrian holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Rhodes University, South Africa. Having been born and brought up in Zimbabwe, the opportunity to join the EDU Africa team came for him after a season spent living and working in New Zealand for four years.

With almost 9 years experience operating group tours and educational programs around East Africa, Adrian is passionate about facilitating group travel, education programs, service-learning experiences and cross-cultural engagement. “I have a wonderful wife and two amazing children and we currently live in Tanzania where I work with EDU Africa. It is a privilege for me to be involved in sharing the culture and beauty of East Africa with travellers and students from all over the world.”


Sister Jane Bararukuliliza

Educated in Tanzania, Sister Jane Bararukuliliza holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and Midwifery. She has gathered enormous practical, administrative and leadership experience working in many different facets of the nursing and midwifery branch of the healthcare sector in Tanzania for close to 30 years.

Sr. Jane currently holds the title of City Nursing Officer for Arusha City, and is responsible for the management and oversight of 650 nurses and 1500 medical attendants across Arusha’s 5 hospitals, 16 health centers and 72 dispensaries. She also serves as a member of the Council Health Management Team, a government structure that oversees healthcare delivery in both the public and private healthcare sectors.

Dr. Freddy Mbise

Dr. Freddy Mbise is a young Tanzanian doctor. He trained at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC) for his undergraduate education, following which he joined Selian Hospital in Arusha where he worked for three years. He was head of department and part of a fistula project under Dr. Andrew Browning who founded Maternity Africa.

Dr. Mbise founded a cervical cancer screening program which offers outreach services in rural communities.  He has established a unit of excellence in labor and delivery, the main goals being to make childbirth safe and to prevent obstetrics fistula among mothers.

Sarah Rejman (Director and Founder of The Plaster House)

In 2002, at 27 years old, Sarah arrived from New Zealand to volunteer at Huduma ya Walemavu a rehabilitation centre for the disabled in the town of Monduli, not far for Arusha. Two years in Monduli awakened a searing passion in Sarah, for treating children with disabilities. She went to Melbourne to work for 18 months, but could not shake the feeling that she should be back in Tanzania. Tanzania won, and Sarah returned to Arusha to work at Selian Lutheran Hospital in 2006 and together with Mr Murila, orthopaedic surgeon, established the Selian Orthopedic Institute

– now known as the Rehab Surgery Program.  Born in 2008, Sarah often refers to The Plaster House as her first child, a part of her young family as much as her husband Jack, and three daughters. She remains hugely passionate about accessing and treating marginalized children with disabilities – woe betide any who stand in her way when she is on the trail of treating a child in need! Together with the teams she has built around her, Sarah plans on doubling the number of patients treated annually through the program and providing the best care possible to children with disabilities.

Program Costs

Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, EDU Africa reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses as necessary.

Tuition: TBC

The tuition fee covers the following program components:

  • Lecturers and lecture Facilities
  • Student visas
  • Hospital, clinic and project placement fees

Room, Board and Logistics: TBC

The room and board fee covers the following program components:

  • All accommodation during the entire program period
  • Meals during the program including half board in Arusha and full board on field trips
  • All transport related directly to the program
  • Field trips to Esilalei Village, Manyara Region and Karatu, Ngorongoro Region

Additional Costs (not accounted for above):

  • International airfare to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
  • Visitor’s visa ($100)
  • Immunisations (requirements vary per country of origin)
  • Books & Supplies
  • Personal Health & Travel Insurance
  • Optional Activities (including pre/post program Mt Kilimanjaro climbs, Zanzibar excursions and safaris)

Discretionary Expenses

Individual interests and extra-curricular activities determine how much extra each student needs to budget for their stay in Tanzania. All meals and accommodation are covered in the room and board fee. Incidental expenses as well as any non program related travel costs are the responsibility of each student.

Featured Experiences

Mt. Kilimanjaro Day Hike

Known as the “Roof of Africa,” Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest point on the African continent, standing at 5896 meters. What make it all the more impressive are its three snowy peaks, topped with glaciers that often protrude above the clouds. Immersed in local myth and culture, and with breathtaking views, few mountains can claim the grandeur of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Ngorongoro Crater Game Drive

The Ngorongoro Crater, a caldera of an ancient volcanic explosion, teems with wildlife in all shapes and sizes. It has some of the densest populations of the “Big Five” on the planet, and is renowned for its lush and captivating scenery. As a World Heritage Site, it is one of the most appealing game drive locations in Africa.

Enquire about this program