Des Moines University currently has one rotation in Tanzania at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre
This rotation accepts fourth year D.O. students. Please allow 6-8 months to schedule this rotation.
Medical students in their fourth year of study or above are welcome to apply to KCMC for a clinical elective period. KCMC wishes to foster an international learning community for its students and visitors and welcomes the contributions and experience of foreign students. English is the language of teaching and record-keeping but applicants should note that Swahili is the national language of Tanzania and that most patients only speak Swahili.
Students wishing to carry out research projects may submit proposals but due to the complexity of obtaining ethical clearance and the pressures on human resources in this setting, approval can be difficult and objectives are not always easy to achieve.
Interns and residents wishing to do a clinical elective period may also apply. They will, however, have to obtain registration with the Medical Council of Tanganyika ($100) in order to do clinical work in Tanzania. This registration takes several months to process and is applied for by KCMC.
director of hospital services
works for the director of hospital services
Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre
PO Box 3010
Telephone: 255 27 2754377/83
Fax: 255 27 2754381
Up to 14 students can be accepted at one time for a minimum working period of six weeks. In order to benefit from the international ambiance of KCMC, a maximum of two students from any one university will be given places at the same time. Extended safaris should be planned before or after an elective period.
Please note that KCMC receives many more applications than there are places available and you are advised to apply a year in advance to be sure of an offer.
Applicants should write via email to the director of hospital services at email@example.com, giving the following information:
- Full name, sex, date of birth, nationality, passport number, home address, email address
- The sending university or hospital information
- Designate the start and end dates that you would like to rotate there
- Designate the department you would like to be placed in (your first and second choice)
- What are your objectives for this elective rotation
- Email or send your Curriculum Vitae and your academic records
It may take a month to receive a reply so please be patient. If, however, you have not had a reply after six weeks, assume email failure and try again. KCMC regrets that it is unable to enter into correspondence with individual universities regarding specific requirements of that institution.
The following departments welcome elective students: internal medicine, general surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, ear nose and throat, radiology, paediatrics, dermatology, ophthalmology, pathology, orthopaedics, anaesthesia, urology and sometimes community health.
Costs and visas
A Tanzanian visitors visa should be obtained in your country of origin by contacting the Tanzanian embassy or consulate. You will need a residence permit to study at KCMC but this can only be obtained for you by KCMC once you have arrived in Tanzania. You will need to bring six passport photos, a copy of your passport details, your CV and a copy of your KCMC letter of acceptance. Currently basic costs are:
- $50 visitor’s visa to enter Tanzania
- $100 Tanzanian temporary residence permit
- $150 KCMC registration fee
- $100 per month accommodation
Residents and interns also need to be registered with the Medical Council of Tanganyika in order to do clinical work in Tanzania. Temporary registration costs $100 and takes some months to process.
KCMC is committed to providing a rich learning experience for visiting students. To supplement the hospital-based programme, visits to a government hospital, a local village and other community activities may be arranged while you are here. If you wish to take advantage of these opportunities there will be an additional charge to cover costs and transport.
Travel and accommodations
If you wish to be collected from Kilimanjaro International Airport, please email your request when your travel plans are made and make sure that you receive confirmation. The fee is usually $40.
Accommodation will be in a single/double room in either a KCMC hostel or a house on or near the staff compound, depending upon availability. Housing is clean and functional. Local travel, food and incidental expenses are the responsibility of the student.
Because of limited accommodation, family members cannot be housed at KCMC, nor can KCMC assist in arranging off-campus accommodation.
Your elective period
During your elective period you will be assigned to one clinical department and will be part of all the work of that department. Doctors/students not registered with the Medical Council of Tanganyika are prohibited by law from providing direct patient care. Be assured, however, that you will be an important member of the clinical team and you will be exposed to all aspects of Tanzanian healthcare. This is an experience of a lifetime.
Please bring with you your name tag, white coat, stethoscope and other clinical tools. See visitor information for a comprehensive list of what to bring.
You will be expected to work alongside the other residents, students, assistant medical officers and nurses as appropriate. KCMC has a weekly clinical conference for all medical staff, which attracts international speakers as well as local talent. Other seminars and workshops may also be taking place.
We encourage interaction with KCMC medical students and other Tanzanians.
When you arrive at the doctors compound
Accommodations on the compound are simple, but we hope that you will be comfortable and feel free to ask for assistance where needed.
Electricity and hot water
The electrical system is based on a standard British model – 240 volts – so you can use British appliances but you will need a transformer for appliances of any other voltage. The Moshi electricity supply is fairly reliable nowadays, although voltage can be a bit erratic, and there are occasional power cuts. Make sure you have a flashlight and candles. A surge protector is recommended if you plan to use your computer. The electricity is always on and the switch for the hot water heater can be found on the kitchen wall next to the larder (in the garage in C houses). A red light shows when it is switched on. The cost of electricity is included in your rent. The fuse box will be found in the garage if necessary. (It is very expensive to heat the hot water, so please switch off the water heater when you are not needing to use it.)
The water on the compound comes from KCMC’s own borehole and is safe to drink without having to be boiled (but you may be happier if you do so). (Please note that elsewhere in Moshi and Tanzania you must always boil your drinking water or use bottled water.)
Mosquito nets are provided for short-term visitors – please ask the housegirl if your house does not have one. Use of the mosquito net is strongly advised, as malaria is quite common in this area. The net should be tucked under the mattress if possible. A blanket is on the bed or in a cupboard. There is mosquito netting on all windows in the house, but a few insects do find their way in. Before going to bed you may like to spray the room with an insecticide (such as Doom), especially if you choose not to sleep under the net.
The kitchen of the guest house is equipped with the basics for most daily needs. We hope you will find sufficient provisions to see you through until you can get to a shop. You are responsible for buying all that you need for the house during your stay – your housegirl will do the shopping for you if you give her some money.
You will be asked to sign for the key you are given on arrival and again when you return it at the end of your stay. Spare keys are a scarce commodity in KCMC although we are trying to improve this situation. Please keep your door key on you at all times and ensure the house is locked when you are out. Your housegirl also has a key, so she can gain access when you are out. The main compound gate is constantly manned and the compound patrolled 24 hours a day by KCMC guards (askari). Occasionally you may hear or see an askari at night – they all wear a green uniform. The house has fluorescent security strip lights outside, and these should be left on all night to assist the guards in their work. Having said this, KCMC is a safe place and there is very little crime.
As is customary in Tanzania, there will be someone to help you with domestic cleaning, washing and ironing, shopping, as well as cooking if you request it. Your “housegirl” will probably speak some English and is willing to help in any way she can. Her working hours are most likely to be approximately 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday (or Saturday) but she will be happy to adapt to your needs or work extra hours for a little extra money. Wages for domestic help may be included in your rent or you may be expected to pay separately – check with someone before doing anything. The average monthly salary is currently about TSh. 40,000/-. If you ask the housegirl to shop for you, please make sure that you give her sufficient money in advance. One item to note is that all clothing MUST be ironed after drying in the open air, because of mango flies, which lay their eggs in the fibres.
Getting started in KCMC and MOSHI
Getting about KCMC
The Compound is approximately 400 metres from the main hospital building, and is a 15-minute easy and safe walk, but it can be both very muddy and very hot depending on the season of the year. If you drive from the Compound to KCMC go in the gate by the Dermatology Training Centre and park opposite the library and bookshop. The KCMC site is sprawling and can seem confusing at first. Although it is nominally an English-speaking hospital, most of the signs are in Swahili. Do make sure that someone shows you the way the first time, as the easiest pedestrian entrance to the hospital is through the back of the main building, past various hostels and schools. (Beware the fact that when you enter from the rear you are on the basement level.) The main administration office is on the ground floor and this may be a good place to start if you need direction. KCMC has a good medical library which is situated in the same building as the main lecture hall. It is open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
A new Communication Centre has just recently opened next to the KCMC Canteen. For a small fee you will be able to make contact all over the world by telephone, fax and email. Please request your family and friends not to send attachments or photographs unless absolutely necessary because transmission is slow and expensive, and can jeopardise the connection with the server. International calls are expensive. International cellular network phones work here, success being dependent upon where you stand to make/receive your call. Secretarial services and Internet connections are also available at the Communication Centre.
There will be a working internal telephone in your accommodation, which connects to the KCMC main switchboard, by dialing 0. There should be in internal telephone directory in your house, with some useful numbers highlighted. You cannot dial outside KCMC on this system, but the operator may be able to connect to a number for you. The telephone number at KCMC is +255 27 2754377/80. The switchboard can receive incoming calls and transfer them to the extension telephone in your house. However, it is sometimes difficult to get through to KCMC and telephone is not as reliable as email. Letters should be addressed to you personally marked “Foreign Medical Student” (or other appropriate title) and addressed to KCMC Private Bag, Moshi, Tanzania. You will find your incoming mail in the administration department at KCMC, where you may also post outgoing letters. Post goes out once a day about 10 a.m. and arrives at about lunchtime.
You will be made most welcome at any church service either at KCMC or elsewhere in Tanzania, even if you do not understand the language. KCMC has its own Lutheran chapel, which was built in 1998. You will find the building near the main entrance to the hospital. Staff prayers in Kishawili are held each weekday morning at 7:30 a.m. On Sundays there is an English service in the chapel at 8 a.m., followed by a Swahili service at 10 a.m. There are also Catholic services held at KCMC. During the week these services are held on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the small assembly hall on the ground floor of the hospital. On Sundays an English service is held at 7:30 a.m. and a Swahili service held at 10:30 a.m. in the main lecture hall. There are many other Christian churches in Moshi, including Anglican and Pentecostal, as well as meeting places of other faiths. Please ask if you would like to know more.
Getting about moshi
The compound is about 5 kilometres from Moshi town centre. You should find a copy of the Moshi Guide in your house. If you do not have the use of a car, you can get to town by walking to the bus stop at the front gates of the hospital. The buses (minibuses) are known as “dalla dallas”. Be warned that they are always overcrowded and give a hair-raising ride, but they are cheap (150/- each way) and are part of the “Tanzania experience.” Taxis are also available at the bus stop and cost about 1,500/- into Moshi town. Cars can be hired from Laka Tours and Car Hire, whose office is in the Communication Centre near the KCMC Canteen. You are advised for your own safety not to walk alone around Moshi at night. This is as more because of the potholes than the security risk.
You can change travellers checks and foreign currency into Tanzanian shillings either at a bank (which close at 3 p.m.) or at a bureau de change (which stay open until about 5:30 p.m.). Credit cards are rarely accepted, and there are no cash machines.
The town of Moshi is quite large and contains shops and businesses which should cater for all your daily needs. The prices will usually be somewhat lower than you are used to and the choice will be more restricted. Fruit and vegetables can be bought from roadside vendors, for a very reasonable price. You may need to try out your Swahili if you use them! Good frozen meat and fish are available in the better shops. You don’t have to go into town to find basic foods and fresh fruit – all are available near to the compound at Uptown Grocery, or in the roads just below the main hospital gate. Tanzanians are without exception friendly and helpful, so don’t be afraid!
Food and refreshment
You will normally be expected to provide your own food during your stay, which you can buy and prepare yourself, or you may prefer to eat in a restaurant. There is a staff canteen, which offers good food at very reasonable prices most of the day. It is situated near the main gate by the Dermatology Training Centre and is open from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., so you can even have your breakfast there if you like. The cost of a main course is approximately 1,200/- and snacks and drinks are available at all times. Bottled mineral water is available here and at all restaurants and shops. Toward the compound you will find The Doctors Club, which serves simple but good meals from approximately 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. The cost of a main course is approximately 1,500/. You may just like to stop there for a cold soda or beer on your way home. There are several good restaurants in Moshi.
First of all, don’t worry if you feel very tired during the first week or two of your stay. This is normal and is a result of the altitude of Moshi, 900 metres, as well as the climate. Having an upset stomach is not uncommon but is probably no more of a problem than an upset stomach anywhere else in the world. It is a good idea to avoid wayside food stalls and to wash all fresh food carefully. Take your malaria prophylactics during your stay (and when you return home). If you have a serious health problem during your stay, please contact the head of internal medicine department on the first floor of the hospital.
Language and customs
The standard language of Tanzania is Swahili. Learning a few key phrases will benefit you, as English is not always spoken, particularly outside KCMC. Be prepared to bargain if you go to markets – there is a tourist price which is usually several times as much as for locals. Dress is informal but modest. Shorts are fairly unacceptable in public places (except in tourist areas), as are vests or tops that show the shoulders and or midriff. Skirts and dresses should be knee length or below. Jeans and trousers for women are acceptable. Light-weight cotton clothing is recommended.
Travelling outside KCMC
It is advisable to take with you a bottle of water, a sun hat, sun block and insect repellant when you plan to spend any time away from KCMC. There are many tour operators in Moshi, some very good and some not so reliable. Kilele Afrika will be ready to give you information about safaris or mountain climbing. If possible, ask someone who has lived in Moshi for a long time to recommend a reliable company. Try to meet Tanzanians and find out how they live. They are welcoming and willing to talk to you. There are one or two tour operators (including the Cultural Tourism Programme) who will arrange visits to village projects and other local places of interest.
Ask for help if there is something you need to know – you will find everyone very willing to assist you.
- Mrs. Mongi who works in the international collaboration office, welcome enquiries about KCMC and will try to answer your general queries.
- Mr. Masao, public relation officer (on the ground floor) will help you regarding your resident’s permit or medical registration.
- Mr. Joachim Kessy, administrative officer, whose office is in KCM College, will help on college matters.
- Mr. Mnesi regarding important housing problems