Primary Health Care

There is no scheme for health care in Tanzania, and in most rural areas provision for health care is rudimentary to put it mildly.
Luhunga Dispensary in Mufindi District is typical of rural dispensaries. This small room is the only provider of primary health care to 10,000 people in 5 villages. It has just one 'Dresser' and 2 nurses. There are no beds or wards, just a small consulting and treatment room.
Drugs and other supplies (dressings) are in short supply and many vaccinations need to be refridgerated. Although there is a fridge shown here, power supplies are often intermittent so the vaccines may not have remained at constant temperatures rendering most of them useless. Many Dispensaries will not even have this much storage.

Mdabulo hospital is also in Mufindi district and serves 19 villages with a population of more than 35,000. There are 2 wards with no bedding other than a mattress and a sheet; no curtains and only broken glass in the windows. Given that there is frost at night in the winter at this altitude, it is very cold for the patients. The hospital is staffed by a Rural Medical Officer (not a qualified doctor), helped by 3 nurses. They receive no financial or material help from the government and have to pay rent to the Mission whose building they occupy. The only drugs available are those bought with income from treatments.

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