Aga Khan Development Network

Tanzania home

Economic Development




Civil Society


Rural Development

Other Countries



The Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS) built the first dispensary providing free medical services in Dar es Salaam in 1929. In 1939, a 10-bed maternity home was opened. In 1948, a nursing home equipped with surgical facilities and 32 inpatient beds was built.

The Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es SalaamThe Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es SalaamThe current 70-bed Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam was constructed in 1964. Simultaneously, medical facilities were established in the towns of Arusha, Moshi, Mwanza, Morogoro, Mbeya, Iringa and Dodoma. Today, these centres provide a range of services including outpatient care and free maternal and child health services in collaboration with the Government.

AKHS activities are conducted in concert with other health-related activities of the AKDN. The overall aim is to raise the health status of people in East Africa. Emphasis, in current projects, is on strengthening health systems by assisting countries build effective, sustainable health systems linking different kinds of services and levels of care.

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), which has a branch in Tanzania, works with a variety of grantees, including AKHS, to improve the health of vulnerable populations, especially mothers and children, and promote health services development on the national and regional levels. It has worked to find innovative methods of financing and operating clinics on a sustainable basis.

Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam
Established in 1964, the Aga Khan Hospital, Dar es Salaam is an 80-bed multispecialty hospital offering quality health care. The Hospital provides general medical services, specialist clinics and state of the art diagnostic services. The hospital and medical centres treat 260,000 outpatients and over 5,000 inpatients per year. Additionally, they conduct over 500,000 lab tests and 3,000 surgeries annually. The hospital and centres employ almost 500 staff.

In 2003, the Hospital was awarded the ISO 9001: 2000 (International Standardisation Organisation) certificate. This certification is awarded only when a hospital’s clinical, diagnostic, administrative and support services conform to the ISO standards. It is also part of the Aga Khan Health Services international referral system, with links to the Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi and the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi. For more information, please see the hospital website.

Aga Khan University health programmes in Tanzania
AKF and AKHS have been joined in their work in health care in East Africa by the AKU's Faculty of Health Sciences, which offers accredited professional training, especially for nurses, and conducts a variety of research programmes focused on the health problems of developing nations. AKU reached an important milestone in July 2002 when it received interim instruments of accreditation in Tanzania, which enabled the University to implement academic programmes in the country. The granting of the Certificate of Provisional Registration in Tanzania allowed the University to introduce educational programmes for human resource capacity building in the health sector.

Following the upgrading of services at the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar-es-Salaam, the Aga Khan University Postgraduate Medical Education Programme (AKU-PGME) in Family Medicine started in Tanzania in July 2003. The goal of the programme is to train physicians to deliver comprehensive, high quality, primary medical care to individuals and families in East Africa. The training programme collaborates with national and international academic institutions of high repute, in a range of activities such as exchange programmes, research, faculty development and specialised courses. This has been made possible through close cooperation in sharing experiences, and through adapting many of the rigorously tested programme structures and curricula in place in Karachi to the East African educational environment.

Developed at the request of nursing leaders and the respective governments, the programme offers continuing and higher education up to BScN level to working nurses.Developed at the request of nursing leaders and the respective governments, the programme offers continuing and higher education up to BScN level to working nurses.Advanced nursing programmes are also offered in Kenya and Tanzania. Nurses are recognised as the principal component of “front line” health staff in most countries and play an especially important role in the health systems of developing countries. In East Africa, there was a need to provide continuing education and training to nurses to help deter migration and improve the overall quality of health services in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. By 2010, a total of 400 students will have benefited from the programme.

In 1993, the Aga Khan University (AKU) began to study how best to implement a large-scale in-service training programme to upgrade nursing skills across the East Africa region. The result was the Advanced Nursing Studies Programme (AKU-ANS). Developed at the request of nursing leaders and the respective governments, the programme offers continuing and higher education up to BScN level to working nurses, allowing them to remain at their workplaces while pursuing professional development.

Launched six years later, the Programme has since allowed practising nurses to learn and apply new skills needed to improve the management and quality of patient care. It has also enabled in-service nurses to accumulate academic credits needed for career advancement. The ANS programme, which was accredited in Tanzania in 2002, includes:

Diploma in Nursing Conversion, Enrolled Nurse - Registered Nurse (EN-RN)
A diploma in nursing which has been offered in distance learning mode since 2006 in Tanzania aims to upgrade the knowledge and skills of Enrolled Nurses to the level of Registered Nurses. Distance learning is offered at the main campus in Dar es Salaam as well as in Morogoro (at the Public Health Service Training Centre) and in Zanzibar (at the Aga Khan Development Network offices). Students follow modules covering general nursing skills and health-care practices through specially designed materials that allow for study at home and in the workplace, including audio-visual tutorials. Discussions with lecturers are also organised, along with clinical practicums that are supervised by qualified Registered Nurses trained by AKU-ANS. The course takes 24 months (four semesters) to complete.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing
AKU-ANS also offers a two-and-a-half-year Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. This programme is designed to give senior Registered Nurses the opportunity to upgrade their diplomas to degree level, and to allow them to acquire the in-depth knowledge and skills necessary to understand and influence the development of health-care reform in the country. The course consists of classroom-based lectures and seminars held on a bi-weekly basis on the main campus in Dar es Salaam. The clinical practicums are conducted in the student’s workplace under the supervision of staff trained by the AKU-ANS programme.

Return to top