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An Expat Talks about What is Was Like Having a Baby in Arusha, Tanzania

Submitted by BonnieTZ

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...

I researched many facilities to have my child in Tanzania. All the way from Dar, to Arusha, to the neighboring country of Kenya. I even looked into a home birth with medical supplies at the the bedside. I spoke with an expat midwife here in TZ. I just knew she was going to tell me to have the baby at home, all natural, etc. etc. Instead she told me that the risk are far to great here to have a baby at home, (living just outside of Arusha) she advised me to not even have the baby in the county of TZ but go to Kenya to the Nairobi Hospital. I spoke with more Dr's, and again they all recommended going to another country if you have the options. I spent most all of my entire pregnancy in Tanzania, went back to the U.S. 6 weeks before the delivery, and returned to TZ 6 weeks after the delivery. If you are choosing to have your baby in TZ then I would recommend the Lutheran hospital in Arusha TZ, or going to Nairobi. I have spoken with other expats that have had their baby at the Lutheran Hosp and said that is was a good experience. I am a Registered Nurse, and I think that when you are educated on the risk, and have another option that is safer, you go with that one. The hospitals are not the same, I have seen used syringes laying around, remember HIV is Very common in TZ. And many other crazy unsanitary things. But again, many TZ women here have babies are live, but sadly there are many who do not. TZ has a very high mortality rate of mothers after birth. Hope this has helped.

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How did you choose your doctor, midwife or other type of medical professional?

For my pre-natal care I went to a nearby clinic. It was great. My ultrasounds cost $8 usd, and $20 usd another time. But again this is third world living, so you can't expect a lot.

If you were to have another child in this country, would you do anything differently in terms of preparation and/or the delivery?

If we were to have another child, and it was not near the time for us to go back home on furlough, like it was before. Then I would probably have the baby in Kenya, or the Arusha Selian Lutheran Hosp.

If a friend of yours living in the same country were expecting, what advice would you give her?

There are so many what if's when having a baby in a third world country... I would tell my friend that she needs to be confident in her decision and that her and her spouse should agree on it, because whichever decision they make, they are going to have to not have any regrets if the what if's come true.

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Comments about this Report

Oct 19, 2011 12:52

Hi, I am currently living in Arusha and took a pregnancy test that came back positive. Can you please recommend a clinic for a pre natal visit? I don't think I'm very far along... Thank you for you help!

Jul 24, 2012 15:30

Go to the Motherhood clinic across from the impala hotel. Dr. Iman is very good.

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