Tanzanian Health

(Also see our pages What We Do – Health and Help Build a Dispensary)



HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death among adults (6.8% infected, 150,000 deaths/yr). AIDS has left 130,000 children orphans. Its has declined among pregnant women attending perinatal clinics. 30% of those infected receive antiretrovirals.  Along with HIV/AIDS, TB (cases down by 2/3 since 1990), malaria and diarrhea are the major causes of adult deaths. The average life expectancy is 52 yrs .

Children’s Health

With >80% of the population being subsistence farmers and with 98% of their farms exclusively rainfed,  low rainfall years lead to poor crops and little food. 43% of Tanzanian children are malnourished, severe malnutrition a contributing factor in 60% of child deaths (one every 12 minutes).



One in five children under the age of five dies. Malaria, diarrhea (45% of households drink unclean water) and pneumonia are the leading causes of death…all preventable.


Access to Medical Care

Tanzania has 17 regional and 55 district hospitals to serve its 42.8 million people. They are spread unevenly over a land area about twice the size of California.  For the people in rural areas (74%) the nearest hospital could be a 50-100 km walk from home.


It is to the 400 Health Centers or 2450 dispensaries that the vast majority of the population goes for basic health care and instruction.  Health Centers may have operating suites, xray machines, oxygen, minimally stocked pharmacies and qualified doctors, nurses and lab techs.  Dispensaries, often run by nurses, may be equipped with sterilizers, microscopes, gloves, syringes, sutures, medications and have clean water and toilets. THE Mission helps support one health center and three dispensaries  (one soon to gain health center status).




 What We Do – Health

Help Build a Dispensary