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Mnazi Mmoja:
Mnazi Mmoja
Mnazi Mmoja
Mnazi Mmoja
Mnazi Mmoja
Mnazi Mmoja
Mnazi Mmoja
Al Rahma:
Al Rahma Privatklinik Zanzibar
Al Rahma Privatklinik Zanzibar
Schlafsaal für Männer (male ward)
Beratung im Labor
Großer OP
Kleiner OP

Hospitals in Zanzibar

There are two options. The first option are clinical electives for medical students and students of nursing and other medical professions. The second option are volunteering activities for professionals from the medical area (e.g. physicians, nurses, therapists, laboratory technicians).

1. Clinical electives and student placements

We can arrange clinical electives and student placements at the public medical institutions of Zanzibar, which are Mnazi Mmoja Referral and Teaching Hospital and Mwembeladu Maternity Hospital. These two hospitals can also be combined.

Mnazi Mmoja

Mnazi Mmoja is the main hospital on the archipelago of Zanzibar. It is located at the Mnazi Mmoja area just outside Stone Town, the historic centre of Zanzibar Town.

At Mnazi Mmoja clinical elective students can choose between the following wards: paediatrics (there are two wards, one for children from 0-3 years old and one from 3-12 years old), gynaecology, internal medicine (gastrology, cardiology, pulmology, nephrology), surgery, dermatology, dental, intensive care unit, HIV ward, ophthalmology, leprosy ward (those interested in the leprosy ward need to proof vaccination against tuberculosis), ENT, acupuncture, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and outpatients' department. For students of pharmaceutics it is also possible to do a clinical elective in the hospital's pharmacy.

The hospital employs 16 specialist physicians, 10 general practitioners, 20 assistant physicians and 30 clinical officers (which is a term used in East Africa for qualified and licensed medical personnel that carries out general medical tasks such as diagnosis and treatment of diseases and injuries, instruction and evaluation of medical screenings, carrying out small standard surgery, and referral of patients to specialists).

The department of Internal Medicine is separated by wards for women and men, each with 3 female and male physicians and clinical officers.

Mnazi Mmoja, Mental Hospital and Mwembeladu Maternity Hospital have a total capacity of 510 beds; out of which 64 beds are in the Internal Medicine ward. 

The department of occupational therapy has a focus on (but is not limited to) children who have neurological disorders.

Mnazi Mmoja has been running a successful elective program for foreign students for many years.

Mwembeladu Maternity Hospital

Mwembeladu Hospital, which specializes in obstetrics and midwifery, including care of women and their children during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period, is located at Zanzibar Town's quarter of the same name.
The hospital has a prenatal (ante-natal) station and a maternity unit, including post-natal care. The prenatal unit includes pregnancy counselling, advice on family planning and HIV testing, apart from ultrasonic and preventative medical check-ups. The maternity unit consists of examination rooms, recovery rooms and a brand new surgery/operating theatre which is fully equipped with modern medical supplies, but which has not yet been officially opened. For this reason, pregnancy-related surgery is currently carried out at Zanzibar's main hospital, the "Mnazi Mmoja". The in-patient care after obstetric surgery however takes place at Mwembeladu.

In the quarter April - June 2010, 1390 women had been admitted to Mwembeladu hospital and 1398 deliverances have been registered, out of which 1339 took place without any complications. 704 newborns were female, 679 male. There were 23 multiple births. 102 mothers were over 35 years old, 35 under 20 years. 91 newborns weighed less than 2,5 kg. 3 of 85 tested mothers were HIV-positive; the newborns of these women were HIV-positive too.

At Mwembeladu, clinical electives and internships in the field of obstetrics are possible.


The minimum working hours for elective students are Monday to Friday from 8-12 am, but they can also stay in the afternoons. Every Thursday at 7:30 pm there is a meeting between the elective student and his or her supervising physician.

Electives at Mnazi Mmoja and Mwembeladu should be fully accredited by all European and US medical colleges and universities. Electives can be started at any day of the week (Mo-Fr).

Additionally, elective students can participate at the "Zanzibar Outreach Program (ZOP)", paying a small additional contribution. Once a week, ZOP is doing medical outreach activities of varying focuses including screenings, treatments and training in rural areas of Zanzibar and Pemba.

For students, there is an official weekly fee which has to be paid at all government hospitals. Please see details about the costs below.

All government hospitals, including Mnazi Mmoja and the hospitals on the island of Pemba (Hospital of Wete, Hospital of Chake Chake and Abdallah Mzee Hospital Mkoani) have been set up by socialist countries during the time when Tanzania was still a socialist nation. Medical exchange programs between Tanzania and these countries still continue and there are regularly foreign physicians from countries such as Cuba, China, Russia and Sweden. 

2. Professional medical volunteers

For professionals from the medical field (e.g. physicians, nurses, therapists, medical technicians) we can arrange volunteer options at the government hospitals of Zanzibar, at the Al Rahma private hospital and at other medical organisations.

All hospitals and organisations are explicitly looking for experienced volunteer physicians such as retired specialists, or physicians who are looking for new challenges in a developing country. Particularly, there is a need for surgeons, cardiologists, gynaecologists (only female doctors), diabetes specialists, radiologists, pediatricians, orthopaedists, general physicians, nurses and laboratory technicians. 

Professionals can also join the activities at the cottage hospitals and with the Zanzibar Outreach Program (please refer to details at the paragraph about Clinical Electives).

Professionals with experience can be excluded from official fees. This will be decided by the Health Ministry for each case. Foreign professional volunteers who want to work on their own (not under the supervision of a local physician) however in all cases require registration from the Health Ministry.

Registration from the Health Ministry involves high bureaucratic efforts that we will do for professionals as part of the trouble-free package before they arrive in Zanzibar. Additional costs for official certificates and accreditation may apply.

Professionals who only come to visit Zanzibar for a couple of days (for instance to train medical staff in Zanzibar or to assist at medical screenings) these formalities will however not be necessary. Another possibility for professionals is to register as "elective students" which will reduce the amount of bureaucracy, but in that case the weekly fees for elective students will apply.

Info box:

Location: Zanzibar, Tanzania

Duration: minimum 1 week*

Qualification required: For internships/electives you must be a student of a relevant subject; for volunteering you must have professional skills

Professional qualification required Yes for volunteering


Costs: The official weekly fee which is charged by the government hospitals to foreign elective students and volunteers currently is 75 US$. This amount has to be paid in cash directly to the hospital. A big portion of the running costs of the hospitals are met by these payments of foreign elective students. For professionals, the Health Ministry will decide in each case whether a fee will be charged or not.

Because of the bureaucracy and time-consuming communication  that we have to do with the government hospitals and ministry, it is obligatory for elective students to book our trouble-free package. As the effort for arranging the right permits will vary depending on the duration of your elective, the prices for the trouble-free package are as follows:

Clinical elective at government hospitals under 3 months: 300 Euro; clinical elective at government hospitals of more than 3 months: 500 Euro. Professionals at Mnazi Mmoja and Al Rahma: 500 Euro. We will not charge anything to professionals who only wish to visit for a couple of days (and don't need permits) for instance to train local medical staff or assist at screenings.

Students wishing to do research for their doctoral dissertation generally need an additional research permit and need to be assigned a supervisor from Mnazi Mmoja - this involves further costs.

The costs we charge for the trouble-free package are independent from and don't include the officials fees charged by the government hospitals.

Accommodation: Not included

Meals: Not included

Inclusive of: Placement in the project + the whole range of services which is part of the special trouble-free package for placements at the government hospitals of Zanzibar

Not included: Travel, health insurance, visa, work permit

Book this placement now! 

* 1-4 weeks are possible as Voluntourism & Internship Hopper.