Medical Student Volunteer

St. Elizabeth Hospital - Ngaramtoni - Arusha, Tanzania
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-580 Location: Ngaramtoni - Arusha, Tanzania Sector: Health Care Category: Medicine Min Duration: 2 weeks Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Basic Placement Fee: 25 USD / week
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Volunteer Job Description

St. Elizabeth Hospital is the second largest hospital in the region and acts as a referral hospital to other health facilities in Arusha and the Manyara Regions.

The hospital is short staffed and short of supplies, however, the doctors and medical staff who work there are dedicated and resourceful.

St. Elizabeth hospital needs volunteers in all departments and all levels of education to help reduce the heavy workload on the staff. Volunteer’s responsibilities will depend on their qualifications and experience. A medical student volunteer's duties would depend on how far advanced the medical student is in his/her educational endeavours towards obtaining his/her doctor's degree and their amount of actual medical experience in the field.

A medical student volunteer's participation at this hospital may include working in several areas of the hospital be it: assisting the local doctors on the wards, the emergency room, out-patient clinics, the laboratory, the pharmacy or in conducting educational sessions etc.

A keen desire to assist and flexibility in the numerous duties is essential. Knowledge in family planning and specific knowledge regarding diabetes and all aspects in the social and medical care of people with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria would be very beneficial.

For volunteers who are willing to contribute time towards a worthwhile medical endeavour and at the same time desire to advance their medical knowledge towards their future careers as doctors -- this is a great place to start as this is a very busy hospital that attends to the needs of many patients daily.

A medical student must have completed at least two years in medical school and be willing to work in all departments of the hospital.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Assist Doctors

Medical student volunteers would be expected to assist the doctors during their hospital rounds, as well as all other duties at the hospital. Some duties may include taking the medical history of patients and their current medical problems; helping to maintain accurate patient records and at times assisting in the general care of the patients.


A medical student volunteer may be asked to help in the pathology and microbiology department. This way volunteers will get to learn about diseases and illnesses prevalent in Tanzania.


A medical student volunteer may be asked to assist in the development and implementation of educational clinics. These sessions could be for patients at different types of clinics conducted at the hospital such as: HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Diabetes, Tuberculosis or family planning etc.


Medical student volunteers could observe and support staff in the emergency department. It is one of the busiest departments in the hospital and volunteers can help with numerous tasks to help relieve some of the workload of staff.

Host Organization Details

St. Elizabeth Hospital

St Elizabeth Hospital has a vision "to be a center of excellence in providing health and spiritual services through provision of enhanced modernized, professional and quality patient care alongside spiritual ethics." They aim to offer accessible and affordable services, motivating, supporting and engaging staff, as well as, Pastorial and Counselling services.

The Vision of the Archdiocese of Arusha is "to build a society whereby the health and well being of individuals and communities are enhanced, especially for those most in need."

The Mission of the Archdiocese of Arusha is "To provide quality, equitable and affordable comprehensive health care services along with spiritual care depending on the circumstances of each health unit"

St. Elizabeth Hospital has been serving the municipal of Arusha since 1975. First as a dispensary and then as a hospital. It is the second largest hospital in the region and acts as a referral hospital to other health facilities in Arusha and the Manyara Regions.

The hospital is short staffed and short of supplies, however, the handful of doctors and medical staff who work there are humble, dedicated and resourceful. The hospital has just over one hundred beds and provides in and out patient care in the following fields:

Surgery Maternity and Paediatrics Ophthalmology, which also offers outreach programs to remote areas HIV/AIDS counselling, testing, and treatment Tuberculosis and Malaria testing and treatment

Does this organization have any religious affiliations?

The hospital is based around the Catholic faith, but accepts volunteers of any religious background.

When They Were Founded

The hospital was started as a dispensary in 1975 and due to problems in taking care of mothers and children it was found that there was a need to upgrade this dispensary to a hospital in 1984. This is the second largest hospital in Arusha. It has 120 staff, a capacity of 100 beds, and treats both in-patients and out-patients. It is the only hospital in Arusha with an Ophthalmologist

Who They Work With

Arusha Region

How Are They Funded

The hospital is funded through The Catholic Archdiocese of Arusha and fees that patients pay when using the hospital. Also through the private donations of volunteers and other individuals.

Donation Requests

Operational manuals for treatment of some cases, ward linen, funding for fencing and building restoration, digital thermometers, and other medical supplies and equipment.

Placement Location Information

Ngaramtoni - Arusha, Tanzania

St. Elizabeth Hospital is located in the Ngarenaro area within Arusha city. This hospital is in the middle of two other social services; the St. Joseph Ngarenaro University, and the St. Elizabeth Catholic Church. The St. Elizabeth Hospital offers medical services to different communities both in and outside of Arusha.

In the area where this placement is located you can get all kinds of services within a three minute walk; including coffee shops, restaurants, currio & craft shops, internet cafes, clothing stores, ice creams shops and many more. There are several other markets around the area as well including the big fruit and vegetable markets.

The placement is also located opposite to the HIV clinics center and they provide free tests and counseling for HIV/AIDS.

Transfer From BaseCamp

From the BaseCamp house take any daladala that is going towards town. Stay in the daladala until the last stop which is Meru Post Office then walk west towards the biggest western store in Arusha. When you reach the shop turn right and walk north for about 10 minutes and you will see the sign for the St. Elizabeth Hospital, follow the sign.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 3 km
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 0:30

Weather in the Area

Despite its closeness to the equator, Arusha's elevation of 1400 m on the southern slopes of Mount Meru keeps temperatures down and alleviates humidity. Cool dry air is prevalent for much of the year. The temperature ranges between 13 and 30 degrees Celsius with an average around 25 degrees.

It has distinct wet and dry seasons, and experiences an eastern prevailing wind from the Indian Ocean, a couple of hundred miles east. The highest average rainfall occurs in March, April and May.

City/Village Description

The city of Arusha has an estimated population of around 500,000 people and sits at the foot of Mount Meru. Mount Meru is the fifth highest peak in Africa; it is a few hundred meters shorter than Kilimanjaro which is the highest mountain in Africa and encompasses three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira (don't worry, they're not active!)

Arusha is surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscape on the planet. With easy access to the Arusha National Park, Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Park there is never a shortage of things to do! Arusha is considered to be one of the best African cities when it comes to great weather and tourism combined.

Arusha is a busy industrial and administrative center. Some of the main manufactures include textiles, beverages, processed foods, plastics, and electronic equipment. It is well known as an African Congress Centre and the International Tribunal for the Rwandese Genocide.

Nearest Medical Clinic

A L M C (Arusha Lutheran Medical Center)
TEL 1: 0736-502-376

Placement Address

St. Elizabeth Hospital
Ngaramtoni - Arusha

Accommodation and Meals

All of our volunteers begin their stay in Tanzania at our BaseCamp Center in Ngaramtoni - Arusha. Given that this placement is less than a 1 hour and 15 minute commute from BaseCamp, volunteers working here will have the option of living with us at BaseCamp or living with a host family.

The following information outlines a brief description of life at BaseCamp and also what someone can expect living with a host family in Tanzania. Once you have completed our application, you can let our staff know if you would prefer to live with a host family. Otherwise, your application will default to having you live with us at BaseCamp.

If you have any questions about the difference between life at BaseCamp or life with a host family in Tanzania you can always give us a call or send us an email. Our contact details are listed in the footer of every page of the site.

BaseCamp Tanzania

BaseCamp Tanzania
BaseCamp Tanzania Address

Nelson Mandela Road
Kijenge Ya Chini Mt. Meru Gas Station
Ngaramtoni - Arusha, Tanzania

BaseCamp Tanzania Contact Details

Tel: 255 719 177 084
Mobile: 255 754 683 347

BaseCamp Tanzania is located in the Kijenge area of Arusha. The centre is located just a few minutes from the famous Clock-Tower and many amenities such as banks, internet cafes and international calling centres. You can also find some great local markets selling everything from fresh fruit and fish, to beautiful wooden carvings and amazing East African paintings! Arusha is a comfortable place to live with many of the conveniences of home, while still allowing travellers to experience the African way of life.

BaseCamp Tanzania is set up with a number of dormitory style rooms. Pillows, sheets and blankets are provided. The house has a large covered balcony on the main floor with a spectacular view! There is also a large common room on the lower level with a small resource centre containing books, magazines, movies, games and other African publications. Outside is a beautiful lawn and garden that overlooks the city and is an ideal setting to catch up on email, review some Swahili or just enjoy a quiet afternoon. Wireless internet access is available throughout the house, making it easy to stay in touch with friends and family back home.

The meal plan at BaseCamp is a 14 day rotating schedule of a variety of traditional dishes from around the country. This allows volunteers to try a wide range of Tanzanian dishes and to gain some knowledge of the food served and meal etiquette before living with a host family. For those who stay on in BaseCamp, the 14 day schedule allows for lots of variety.

BaseCamp Tanzania is also the training and orientation centre. Each day volunteers will spend part of the day in lectures or workshops at BaseCamp and part of the day exploring the city and learning how to get around comfortably on their own.

Living With a Host Family in Tanzania

Living with a host family in Tanzania is a fantastic way to gain a deep understanding of and appreciation for the people and customs of the country. Each home-stay will provide a bed and three meals per day for our volunteers. The majority of host families offer private rooms with only one or two volunteers living with the family.

Living with a host family can greatly enhance your performance at your placement. For one, it will have a huge influence on the speed with which you gain familiarity with the local language. This, along with your deeper understanding of cultural practices and beliefs that you are likely to gain in this environment, can go a long way to improving or strengthening your relationships with your team mates at work. Furthermore, a significant percentage of our host families are closely affiliated with the organizations with which our volunteers work. As such, even the evening meal or hanging out around the house can become valuable time during which volunteers can share their ideas and continue their support of their host organization.

All of this being said, living with a host family is not for everyone. It is very important for volunteers to honor the house rules in their host family and to be punctual. Also, depending on how remote your placement location, host families can be very rustic. Our staff in country can give you a better idea of what exactly you can expect from a host family in any particular community. However, in general, if these things sound like they might pose a challenge for you, we strongly suggest that you look at a placement within commuting distance from BaseCamp Tanzania.

How the Program Works

Our program structure and costing is completely flexible which lets our volunteers ensure that they only pay for exactly the degree of support that they want.

Option 1 - Free Services

Some volunteers prefer to coordinate their own accommodation, meals and other support while overseas.

Anyone is welcome to use our volunteer placement search tool to help in finding a placement that is well suited to their interests. Once someone finds a placement that they wish to work with, they are welcome to make all the rest of their arrangmeents on their own.

As well, our team of staff overseas are often able to offer a few helpful pointers for volunteers 'doing it on their own'. Just send us an email with your questions and we will put you in touch with our team abroad. We only ask that you keep your requests fairly general, as this type of advice is exactly how our team earn their living. :)

Option 2 - Placement Support - 250 USD

Other volunteers would like assistance in selecting and confirming their placement, but they plan to manage their own accommodation and other expenses on their own.

These volunteers have the option of choosing to only have our assistance with selecting and confirming their placement. This option also includes ongoing placement support while abroad, so a volunteer would be able to ask our team for help if things at their placement were not working out.

In providing Placement Support, our team works with each volunteer through email, telephone and either Skype or Google Hangouts, to ensure that each volunteer has a clear understanding of their placement options. Our in-country staff will put together a custom list of placement options for each volunteer that they believe are the most appropriate matches with the volunteer's background, skills and interests. Then each volunteer can work with our team both in Canada and abroad to go through each of the options and narrow-down their selection.

Option 3 - Full Program Support

For most volunteers who are volunteering for less than a year, they are looking for an option that includes their accommodation, meals, airport reception, country and program orientation and placement support. This is what our Program Fees are designed for.

We are proud of how over the years we have ensured that our program fees are amoungst the most reasonable of any program in the world while we continue to provide exceptional volunteer support both at home and abroad.

Our Program Fees and listings of what these do and do not include are listed below:

Program Fees

Program Fees - Tanzania

  Registration Fee
  1 Week
  2 Weeks
  3 Weeks
  4 Weeks
  5 Weeks
  6 Weeks
  7 Weeks
  8 Weeks
  Additional Weeks
All program fees are listed in US Dollars.

What is Included
  • Pre-Departure support
  • Placement consulation
  • Airport reception & transfer
  • 2 Day orientation
  • Accommodation (BaseCamp or host family)
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Emergency & placement support

What is Not Included
    Before Departure
  • International flight
  • Travel medical insurance
  • Visa costs where required
  • Work permits where required
    While Overseas
  • Daily transportation to and from placement
  • Transport to airport on departure
  • Placement fees if requried

Placement Fee Alert

This placement has a placement fee!

In some cases, a placement will have to take on certain expenses in order to host a volunteer. For example, some medical internship placements take time away from paid medical staff to help with educational assistance. This has a cost that is compensated by a placement fee. In other cases, the organization may have to pay for additional equipment, energy consumption or other expense in order to put a volunteer to work.

In such cases, the organizaiton charges a fee. This fee is paid directly to the organization in cash on the ground.

One of the reasons that we keep this fee separate is so that volunteers who do not pay us for accommodation, meals etc (Program Fees), will see that they will still have to make this payment directly to the organizaiton upon their arrival.

The placement fee for this organization is: 25 USD / week

Program Dates

Our regularly scheduled program start dates are the first Friday of each month, every month of the year. We strongly recommend beginning your program on one of these dates as this will allow you to go through our orientation alongside other international volunteers.

If you would prefer, our application will also allow you to select a custom start date for your program. Keep in mind that there is an additional fee for a custom start date which ranges from 50 to 75 USD.

Sep 04, 2020 Oct 02, 2020 Nov 06, 2020
Dec 04, 2020 Jan 01, 2021 Feb 05, 2021
Mar 05, 2021 Apr 02, 2021 May 07, 2021
Jun 04, 2021 Jul 02, 2021 Aug 06, 2021
Sep 03, 2021 Oct 01, 2021 Nov 05, 2021
Dec 03, 2021 Jan 07, 2022 Feb 04, 2022
Mar 04, 2022 Apr 01, 2022 May 06, 2022
Jun 03, 2022 Jul 01, 2022 Aug 05, 2022


These dates are the day that volunteers should plan to arrive on the ground in country. We can accommodate arrivals in-country at any time day or night on these dates.

Give us a Call
Canada / USA 866-646-4693 (toll free)
UK 866-646-4693 (toll free)
Australia 866-646-4693 (toll free)
International 613-353-3000
Send us a Message