Mkomaindo Hospital is a medium sized government funded hospital in the South of Tanzania. The hospital serves around 300,000 people and acts as a referral centre for the dispensaries dotted around Masasi as well as more remote communities. The hospital is underfunded, has no running water, and during the rainy season (February-April) suffers from daily power-cuts.
It comprises of male and female medical and surgical wards, a large and very busy maternity unit, the only NICU in the region, a TB ward, outpatient department and HIV clinics.
Mkomaindo is run by about 20 clinical officers (CO), who have had just two years of training. There is a local CO training college (COTC), which trains 70 COs each year- a significant problem is that most students wish to travel north to Dar-es-Salaam, Moshi, and other large cities to work once they finish college. This leaves the hospital in Masasi understaffed. There are two Doctors, both of whom are based at the COTC so they are not on the wards. The hospital also lacks basics such as an oxygen supply and regularly runs out of staples such as x-ray films.
There is no specialist Obs & Gynae team and maternal mortality rates are high. The hospital is in need of doctors to specifically work on the ante-natal and post-natal wards and for those interested in an elective in O&G, this would be a rewarding placement.
Obs and Gynae, General surgery, Trauma and Orthopaedics
Flights from Dar-es-Salaam to Mtwara are twice daily, taking about 1 hour. Visitors can be collected for the 3 hour drive to masasi from Mtwara .
Can be arranged by consultation with the hospital. Masasi itself is a small town with a market and a number of bars and places to socialise
Minimum of six weeks is preferable, but for a small donation to the hospital Mr Freddy is happy to accommodate students for one week.
Visas are available through the Tanzanian government website athttp://tanzaniahighcommission.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=ar…
There may also be a medical license fee doctors; check with the hospital.
I spent 6 weeks at Mkomaindo hospital, it is a great place to gain experience of working in an African hospital. Plenty of opportunity to get involved with procedures and help to run out-patient clinics as well as ward rounds. A basic level of Kiswahili is recommended as none of the patients speak any English.
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