Unfortunately, I came down with a bacterial infection while in-country and had to come back to the US early. However, I was still able to experience some amazing things while in Tanzania, including a first-hand look at getting medical attention.
My first stop was a clinic on the campus of the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro. The clinic is a really great service to offer students and community members alike, and it was clear that it was valued: over 50 people were there seeking medical attention that day. The staff was doing the best they could, but there were simply too many people, so I decided to leave after three hours of waiting.
This led me to contact HTH (yay for being insured!) to figure out where I should go. There weren’t any HTH network doctors in the area, so they looked up a local hospital for me downtown. Our gracious hosts promptly picked me up from the lodge and drove me to the hospital with one of our awesome Tanzanian MBA counterparts, Daniel, to serve as translator.
It was a good thing Daniel came with me, as I would have had no clue what to do and would not have been able to communicate with the receptionist. The experience was very interesting. I was reassured by the hospital’s promising message hanging up in the lobby:
First, I had to fill out a medical information booklet. They keep one of these for every patient they see and update it after every visit. I was charged for the visit – 6,000 shillings (about $3!) – and told to wait outside the doctor’s office. I only waited about 10 minutes to see the doctor. I took my medical booklet with me and the doctor wrote down the information from the visit, including his diagnosis and any prescriptions. I ended up being tested for malaria (only $2!) and given some more medicine and an inhaler. The total visit, including the medicine and inhaler, ended up costing about $8. Take note, America.
While I eventually went home because I was having trouble breathing, I was impressed by the attentive care I received in Tanzania and will never forget the experience.