What is healthcare in Tanzania like?

Facilities and Health Information

Medical facilities are limited and medicines are sometimes unavailable, even in Dar es Salaam. There are hospitals and clinics on Zanzibar capable of treating minor ailments. Serious ailments require returning to Dar es Salaam or travel to Nairobi or South Africa for treatment. If you are climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Tanzanian capacity for emergency medical response is extremely limited and you may need to descend the mountain on your own to get help. For any significant medical problem in Dar es Salaam, travelers should travel to Nairobi or South Africa where more advanced medical care is available. U.S. citizens are advised to travel with a sufficient supply of prescription medication to last for the duration of the trip. Pharmacies (known as "duka la dawa") may carry recognizable brands, but the supply and quality are inconsistent.

Tap water in Tanzania is unsafe to drink. Travelers are strongly urged to use bottled water for drinking and food preparation. Be careful when consuming raw foods as they may not have been properly refrigerated and handled, and they may harbor unsafe bacteria.

Cholera is prevalent in many areas of Tanzania, and several strains of malaria are endemic. Anti-malarial medication is strongly advised. Use insect repellents and mosquito nets to help to reduce the risk of malaria. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention as soon as possible. Tell your doctor about your travel history and describe the medication you have been taking. For additional information on malaria, protection from insect bites, and anti-malarial drugs, please visit the CDC travel health web site.

Schistosomiasis (or, bilharzia) is a disease endemic in Africa and caused by parasitic worms hosted by fresh-water snails. Avoid swimming, bathing, or wading in fresh-water lakes and streams.

Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Tanzania.

The HIV infection rate in the general population is 5.1 percent. The infection rate is considerably higher among sex workers and their clients, intravenous drug users, and men who have sex with men. Data indicates that injection drug use, specifically heroin, is on the rise in urban areas of Tanzania and Zanzibar. Studies carried out in Dar es Salaam indicate that HIV prevalence is 42% among people who inject drugs (2007) and 31.4% among sex workers (2010), while unpublished data for men who have sex with men in Dar es Salaam indicates a prevalence over 30% (2012). Travelers should be aware of the related health and legal risks associated with the commercial sex industry.

East African Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is carried by the tse-tse fly, which is endemic to the northern safari circuit of Tanzania. The disease itself is very rare but present. Travelers are advised to use normal precautions to avoid insect bites. Avoid wearing dark colors which attract the insect. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential if there is an infection. If symptoms appear, even months later, health care practitioners should be told of the visit to East Africa and the possibility of exposure.

Drinking Water Source - % of rural population improved


Drinking Water Source - % of total population unimproved


Drinking Water Source - % of urban population improved


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate


Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population


People Living with HIV/AIDS


Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population


Sanitation Facility Access - % of total population unimproved


Sanitation Facility Access - % of urban population improved


Sanitation Facility Access - % of rural population improved


Infectious Diseases - degree of risk

very high

Animal Contact Disease (s)


Food or Waterborne Disease (s)

bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

Vectorborne Disease (s)

malaria, dengue fever, and Rift Valley fever

Water contact disease (s)

schistosomiasis and leptospirosis

Disability Access In Tanzania


While in Tanzania, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from the United States. The Tanzanian constitution prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities. In 2010, the government passed the Persons with Disability Act to address the overall protection of disabled persons. Although the government mandates access to public buildings, transportation, and government services for persons with disabilities, few accommodations exist. Sidewalks are nearly non-existent and there are frequent power outages.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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