• Health
Completed On:
Jul 2023
Start Date:
Jan 2023

Expand Tsaayo Dispensary 

Improve medical care for the community


Tsaayo Dispensary is the busiest and most centrally located dispensary serving Arri Ward.  The dispensary is currently staffed by 1 doctor, 1 nurse, and 1 community worker. In 2022 they performed 458 pregnancy and 1027 pediatric checkups, administered 1897 vaccinations, performed 737 family planning visits, and responded to 550 outpatient visits. That’s ~390 visits per month. They also performed 23 births, but only mothers having their 2nd or later birth and births without complications are allowed in the dispensary.  As you can see, most of the visits are preventative. Those coming in sick are mostly treated for upper respiratory infections, gastrointestinal issues, skin diseases, or urinary tract infections. 


All the services are provided in a single building comprising a reception area, injection room, medication storage and dispensing room, examination room, dressing room, and staff room. Patients wait outside to be seen, rain or shine.  All patients, well and ill, are treated in the same small building, so all healthy clients e.g. those coming in for pre-labor checkups, laboring women, vaccinations, family planning…, are exposed to those who are sick and potentially infectious. In addition, all labs must be sent out delaying diagnosis and treatment as they have no local lab facility.


Karimu, in partnership with Tanzania Ministry of Health, has agreed to expand the Tsaayo Dispensary. The existing building will be remodeled and dedicated to outpatient visits. The new building will be used for maternity and well-client visits and will include a labor room, antenatal room, shower, laboratory, sterilization room, procedure room, and family planning room. The government will expand the staff to include more nurses and a laboratorist and will provide the needed furniture and equipment.  In addition, the government recently built new patient bathrooms including a disabled person’s bathroom, bathrooms for the staff, and a bathroom in the labor area specifically for pregnant women.


Here is the site plan for the Tsaayo Dispensary. This layout shows the government built bathrooms at the top, changes to the existing dispensary building in the lower left,  and the new reproductive and children's health building layout in the lower right.



Tsaayo dispensary building construction underway. Upper left: the community clears the field and digs the foundation, upper right: the foundation is laid; lower left: cement block walls are going up; lower right, completed exterior construction with roof and plastering.


Exterior views including paved and shaded and accessible walkways between buildings, handwashing stations, and a beautiful retaining wall with stairs into the facility.


Bright hallways and exam/delivery rooms on the inside


Patients awaiting treatment at the new facility


Update October 2022: 


The dispensary needed additional equipment and Karimu and the government have reached an agreement of providing it. Karimu is currently donating additional equipment to the dispensary such as furniture (desks, chairs, cabinets…) as well as some medical equipment (e.q. scales, medicine trolley,..) and the government is also providing medical equipment and supplies (beds, delivery kits, dressings, scissors,...).


The doctor puts the new scales to use.


However, donations are divided into two phases: phase 1 non-lab equipment and phase 2 lab equipment. The government is making progress towards the target staffing of one doctor, two nurses, and one lab technician for the dispensary. They just recently added another nurse so they currently have one doctor and two nurses.  They are missing the lab technician and Karimu is delaying lab equipment donations until the lab technician is on the job. Those costs will be added to this project once the equipment is donated.




  • Increased space and staffing levels to accommodate more patients

  • Safer space for well-visits

  • Improved facilities for birthing mothers

  • Faster diagnosis and treatment with on-site labs




  • Karimu cost (construction) : $62,416.88

  • Community cost and/or contribution: $341.78 in labor. This number is low as a percentage of construction costs, but that is because the government paid for onsite patient and staff bathrooms construction, dispensary furniture and equipment, and additional staff for the clinic.

  • Government contribution (construction): $18,700.57

  • Karimu cost (equipment phase 1): $10,008.71

  • Government cost (equipment phase 1): $2,131.69