Public Health Service Learning Program, Tanzania

Travel to the town of Moshi in the shadow of the great Mount Kilimanjaro and join us for a service learning program contributing to vital healthcare development initiatives. One of the poorest countries in the world, Tanzania’s healthcare section is underfunded and underdeveloped. As a participant on this program, you’ll get a full understanding of the issues, and you’ll have a chance to contribute to medical support and health education projects that are doing important work. To ensure maximum professional development, you’ll enjoy a well-structured program and a healthy balance of practical and theoretical learning, and you’ll be guided by an academic adviser along the way.

During time off, you’ll be able to explore the stunning area during game drives and expeditions. The local community will embrace you in their vibrant culture and warm nature. The area is also rich in wildlife, and you can visit some of the nearby national parks for spectacular game viewing in your free time.

This program is valuable as a holistic learning experience, and is particularly beneficial to those interested in the fields of healthcare, human rights and a broad spectrum of development studies.

Highlights

  • Gain an insight into healthcare in Tanzania
  • Engage local communities on healthcare and health education projects
  • Benefit from professional academic support as you work towards predetermined learning outcomes
  • Experience life amongst warm local Tanzanian communities

Quick Facts

  • Location Moshi, Tanzania
  • Focus Healthcare
  • Recommended Credits Advised on request
  • Academic Prerequisites None

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Destination Description

Your home during the program will be Moshi; a small town situated below the majestic Kilimanjaro mountain range. One of the most iconic attractions in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is the continent’s highest peak, and an incredible sight. The popular tourist town of Moshi is a bustling network of food markets and restaurants, with an impressive array of colors, smells, and sounds. From your base here, you will experience first-hand the effects of limited healthcare resources and actively contribute to improving both access and quality.

 

Learning Outcomes

This program comprises five elements: service, reflection, communication, course work and research. Once you are on site, you will start with an induction, introduction to courses, setting schedules and an expectation workshop. The program ends with a presentation of research findings and a reflection workshop to evaluate the program and its elements.

Throughout the course of your placement, you will:

  • Learn to apply your academic knowledge to challenges in the fields of health and development in a Tanzanian context
  • Develop and apply critical thinking skills, both inside and outside the classroom
  • Expand your practical social research skills
  • Be exposed to intercultural learning
  • Develop your communication skills

Your four-week course has a 70-hour service requirement which will be customized to your choice of practical or research-based work. You will be supported throughout; the Business Manager will provide support for logistics and procedures, and your Academic Lead will provide support for course work and research.

Before embarking on your service, you will be required to undertake an extensive needs and assets analysis to determine your focus. This will form the basis of your practical or research project, and will inform your concept note and proposal, which will be reviewed by your Academic Lead and her team.

In conjunction with the 70 hours of community-engagement, you will acquire a new language, learn the basic tools of social research methods, learn actively through reflection and write a final research paper or report in lieu of the need identified and addressed through service.

Service Impact

Tanzania is ranked as one of the poorest 15 nations in the world. With two-thirds of the population living below the extreme poverty line of $1.25 per day. 16% of children under the age of five are malnourished, making them more susceptible to death from diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, HIV and measles.

The result of these diseases is a severe economic impact on an already crippled economy, and state resources are extremely limited. In rural areas such as Moshi, the situation is particularly dire, and the community relies on visits from a mobile clinic, which has limited capability – an issue your placement directly contributes to.

This program is designed to bolster the existing healthcare support system, and you can expect to provide support to the understaffed and over-extended clinic, deliver workshops that provide information on basic healthcare, hygiene and nutrition, and address negative stigmas around HIV/AIDS, malaria and women’s health. You will also have the opportunity to support individuals whose poor health affects their day-to-day lives, with the support of local health practitioners.

This initiative is working towards long-term outcomes. Your contributions, both practical and researched-based will have an exponential effect on the community as a whole. Improved knowledge on nutrition combats malnutrition, improved knowledge on hygiene and basic healthcare help to negate diarrhea and the spread of disease, the cumulative outcome of which is a stronger and more economically-capable community in the long run.

Team

Sarah Bolger and Gill Carter

  • WEEK 1

    Your first week will comprise an in-depth orientation where you will meet the various stakeholders, familiarize yourself with your schedule and set expectations. An introduction into the local language, culture and relevant history of the area will provide key context to the subject matter.

    By the end of the first week, you will have a sound understanding of the subject matter and concepts to be explored. Your first reflection will ensure you are prepared for the activities in week two.

  • WEEK 2

    In week two, you will settle into your routine and develop a keener understanding of how the five elements of your placement; service, reflection, communication, course work and research integrate.

    A meeting with your program adviser will ensure that you are prepared with a concept note for your research paper by the end of week two.

  • WEEK 3

    After two weeks on your placement, you will have the requisite skills and contextual knowledge to deepen your inquiry. In your third week you will undertake research to develop your concept note in preparation of your presentation, which provides an opportunity to reflect on your personal development thus far.

    Meetings with your program adviser will guide your progress.

  • WEEK 4

    Your final week will be geared towards the refinement of your paper as you prepare for your presentation. You will also prepare a handover document to ensure that your contribution to the project continues.

    Your program adviser will provide a consolidated review of your research, and your contributions to the various elements of the broader program.

Dates:
Available February to November

  • Participants will be collected from the airport upon arrival and transferred to base
  • Accommodation on base will be simple, but comfortable shared rooms with communal ablutions
  • All meals for the duration of the project, with the exception of free days will be provided
  • Any transport required for program activities will be provided
  • Participants will be transferred back to the airport for their departure