Mbesa Mission Hospital

A rural hospital in Southern Tanzania

About us

Mbesa Mission Hospital

(District Hospital)

Wartezimmer fuer Patienten Waiting area for patients Blut wird auf Malaria untersucht Blood sample is tested for Malaria Dr med. Iris SchlagehanWard round

Hospital specifics:

  • 100 beds on three wards (Men, women, children)
  • A&E
  • One Theatre + Sterilisation unit
  • Laboratory + Bloodbank
  • Pharmacy + production of infusions
  • X-ray
  • Sonography

Location of Mbesa Mission Hospital:

Mbesa is close to the Mozambiquan border Mbesa lis close to the tanzanian-mosambican border

Mbesa is approximately 30 km north of the Tanzanian – Mozambican border, and half way between the Indian ocean and lake Malawi. Politically it belongs to the Tunduru-District in Ruvuma Province. The distance to the districts capital Tunduru is about 50 km, the Provincial Capital Songea is situated 300 km north west of Mbesa, which are linked by dirt roads only. The predominate tribes of the area are the Yao (60%), Makua (20%) and Matambwa (6%), whose religious beliefs are mostly Muslim-animistic. Christians are a small minority. Economically more than 95% are agriculturally self sufficient. The area is not industrially developed, though recently copper mining has begun in Mbesa.

According to Frank Jason’s blog the Big Think the national average of patients per doctor in Germany was 1: 300¬† and in Great Britain it was 1: 440, while he quotes a figure of 1:50,000 in Tanzania in the year 2007.


Tanzania_03_13 261

In the fifties an English missionary, Dudley Dalton, arrived from Zambia and explored the southern area of Tanzania and found that the region was extremely underdeveloped. In many respects the people of this area were highly disadvantaged especially in regard to health provisions. The regional chief of Mbesa welcomed the first missionaries from Wiedenest near Bergneustadt in Germany providing they were to build a local hospital as many people especially women and children were dying in large numbers.
In 1959 the foundation stone of the hospital was laid.[read more…]