Nursing Student Volunteer

Ithna Asheri Hospital - Arusha, Tanzania
Quick Facts: Placement ID: IND-710 Location: Arusha, Tanzania Sector: Health Care Category: Nursing Min Duration: 2 weeks Lodging: BaseCamp or Host Family Language: Basic
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Volunteer Job Description

Ithna Isheri Hospital is a private hospital that provides medical services to the members of Arusha and the surrounding areas. Ithna Isheri Hospital is trying to develop their programs to match the mandate of the Ministry of Health in Tanzania.

Ithna Asheri hospital is understaffed and any nursing student volunteer who can contributed at least two weeks of their time at this institution is most welcome and appreciated.

A nursing student volunteer's duties would be similar to those in their native country and a lot would depend on their present level of nursing education, nursing experience and previous medical knowledge that they acquired towards teaching or assisting in the various types of clinics that the hospital conducts.

Due to lack of staff a nursing student volunteer's experiences at this hospital could cover a large range of duties such as assisting in: the routine nursing care on the wards, the out-patient services for adults and/or children, the maternity department, the numerous clinics, as well as the sessions conducted towards the education of the Tanzanian people addressing various health issues.

A lot would depend on the length of time the nursing student volunteer was able to contribute his/her time, the amount of preparation the volunteer did prior to the placement and the interest and energy the volunteer devotes towards his/her responsibilities.

A nursing student volunteer must have completed at least two years of her specialized education, be willing to contribute her services for two weeks or more and be flexible in regards to her nursing duties at the hospital.

Volunteer Tasks Required

Patient Care

A nursing student volunteer's duties may include: assisting the nurses with routine care of patients on the general and surgical wards, the maternity ward, the emergency department or other divisions of the hospital that require nursing assistance.

In & Out-patient Clinics

A nursing student volunteer may be asked to assist at the out or in-patient HIV/AIDS clinics to provide counseling and medical care to the HIV/AIDS patients as this hospital has special clinics for HIV/AIDS victims and they provide medical care for free.

A volunteer may also be asked to help with family planning clinics during the women's clinic day.

The assistance of a nursing student volunteer at these clinics would be at the discretion of staff and a lot would depend on the volunteer's knowledge and preparation for said clinics.


A nursing student volunteer may be asked to assist with organizing or update the patient filling systems, assist in general administration office duties, eg. making photocopies of records, restocking of office supplies and updating current office data.

Maternity Clinics

A nursing student volunteer would be expected to assist the nurses at the clinics for prenatal, neonatal and postnatal mothers and their babies. Their duties in these areas would depend on their current level of knowledge in this division of medical care.

Host Organization Details

Ithna Asheri Hospital

Many people in Tanzania do not have access to adequate health care. For many years, the majority of health care facilities were located in and around major urban centers. As a result, residents in rural communities had very limited access to medical attention and those who were living in urban centers often did not have access to medical advise due to the high volume of patients or because they were unable to afford the services.

Ithna Isheri Hospital is a private hospital that provides medical services to the members of Arusha and the surrounding areas. Ithna Isheri Hospital is trying to develop their programs to match the mandate of the Ministry of Health to include all of the following: to improve accessibility to health care, to improve the quality of care, to ensure that all staff have access to resource and education materials to help them advance their medical knowledge thus ensuring that the service provided to patients is the best possible.

Services presently provided include:

  • General out-patient service for adults and children
  • Clinics: Antenatal (prenatal) Clinics, Pediatric Clinics and Family Planning Clinics
  • Laboratory services including routine blood, urine and stool examinations, serum bio chemical analysis, blood group and matching services, lipid profiles, etc
  • Minor and major surgical procedures
  • Dental services
  • Ophthalmology services
  • Physiotherapy
  • X-ray and Ultra Sound Scanning
  • General wards
  • Acute Care Unit (ICU) two beds
  • Maternity ward and services
  • Major Operation theatre
  • Ambulance service

The hospital has Medical Consultants from KCMC (Moshi) come once a week to conduct clinics. They include: a Consultant Surgeon, ENT Specialist, Ophthalmologist, Orthopedic Specialist, Urologist and a Dermatologist.

When They Were Founded

The Ithna Ishen Hospital was found in 1998 by Dr Mohamed Alawani who had a passion to provide medical services to Arusha and the surrounding areas. They didn't have enough funds to buy or rent the property needed but some "Good Samaritans" donated a building for them to use as a hospital center and some NGO's donated medical equipment and supplies. Therefore, with the financial help of Dr. Alawani, the hospital opened. The organization grew and now they have in-patient and out-patient clinics in different locations of the city.

Who They Work With

The Ithna Isheri Hospital is located in the community of Ilboru in the region of Arusha. Arusha is located in the northern part of Tanzania and has approximately 64,000 people living it the region. The community of Ilboru is approximately 7,000 people.

The patients that come to this hospital are men, women and children of all ages from different part of Arusha and oitside Arusha region.

How Are They Funded

Ithna Ishen Hospital is a privately run institution and therefore receives no government funding. In the beginning most of the funds were provided by Dr. Mohamed Alawani, the founder. Today some of the funds come from patients fees for services rendered and the rest are raised from NGO's, private companies and individual donors.

The hospital doesn't get funding from the government but is funded rough medical fees that's paid by the patients and also the hospital receive funding from NGOs and individual donors as well as from private companies. but at the beginning when the organization were started most of the funding were coming from the founder Dr Mohamed until they were able to receive more patients and get donations.

Donation Requests

Any medical equipment or supplies would be appreciated including:

  • Latex surgical gloves
  • Surgical gowns
  • Laboratory equipment
  • Sterile needles
  • Antiseptic creams
  • Thermometers
  • Band-aids
  • Gauze
  • Diapers
  • Vitamins
  • Baby formula
  • Blood pressure cuffs
  • Bed linen
  • Gowns
  • Towels
  • Small fans
  • Medical books

Placement Location Information

Arusha, Tanzania

This placement is located at Ilboru, an area in the city of Arusha. It is in a very well developed area with nice apartments where most people who work at the United Nations (UN) headquarters live as well as most military people in Arusha.

Ithna Isheri hospital is a large building that is painted white and has a small garden in the front. The hospital has a large number of full time employees, as well as a consultant surgeon, ENT specialist, eye specialist, orthopedic specialist, urologist and a dermatologist, who visit regularly from other health care facilities. But due to the increasing population of Arusha and surrounding areas, the hospital can always use more volunteers.

Transfer From BaseCamp

From the BaseCamp house walk west to Impla Round About then walk north on Simeon Road towards Nairobi Road. From Nairobi Road you will take a 20 minutes daladala to town. The stop for this placement is called "Tank la Maji", tell them to drop you there. The gate is on the left side of the road as you get off the daladala.

Distance & Time

Distance from BaseCamp: 3 km
Travel Time from BaseCamp: 0:45

Weather in the Area

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

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

City/Village Description

The city of Arusha has an estimated population of around one million 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 centre. Some of the main manufacture products include textiles, beverages, processed foods, plastics and electronic equipment. It is well known for the African Congress Centre and the International Tribunal for the Rwandan Genocide.

Nearest Medical Clinic

Ithna Asheri Hospital
Sokoine Road
TEL 1: +255 784 459 600
TEL 2: +255 754 822 188

Placement Address

Ithna Asheri Hospital

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

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.

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 Sep 02, 2022
Oct 07, 2022 Nov 04, 2022 Dec 02, 2022
Jan 06, 2023 Feb 03, 2023 Mar 03, 2023
Apr 07, 2023 May 05, 2023 Jun 02, 2023


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