Selian Lutheran Hospital

Missionary Hospital | Tanzania

Hospital description


Selian Lutheran Hospital is a semi-rural hospital of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania – Diocese in Arusha Region, located in the village of Ngaramtoni within the Arumeru District of the Arusha Region. The health work of the hospital was begun as a dispensary in the 1950’s and has grown from a single building and with beds into a 125 bed hospital offering outpatient and inpatient services including medicine, pediatrics, general surgery, and obstetrics and gynecology.

Selian Lutheran Hospital serves an immediate catchment area consisting mainly of a government ward with a population of approximately 500,000 people. The hospital serves as a referral center for much of urban Arusha and more rural areas extending south to Orkesumet and west to Loliondo.

The area served by Selian Lutheran Hospital is inhabited by people of the Maasai and Waarusha tribes. Most are small scale land holders who are subsistence farmers. Foodstuffs as well as coffee are the major crops. The climate is temperate year around, rainfall is usually plentiful, and the elevation is approximately 1,600 meters.

Most patients come to the hospital with infectious and tropical diseases or with surgical emergencies. Malaria, AIDS, TB and pneumonia account for a high percentage of medical admissions. Trauma and acute abdominal surgery are the majority of surgical admissions.

While Selian Lutheran Hospital has been developing its reputation as the premier center for quality care in northern Tanzania, it is challenged by dramatic economic realities: Tanzania is one of the 10 poorest countries in the world. People have little and even the inexpensive medical care delivered by Selian is often unaffordable. Tanzanian government expenditure on health is around $2 per capita annually.

With the opening of The Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre in December 2008, the Diocese entered an agreement with the Ministry of Health to transfer Selian to the government system. As of November 2012, Selian is one of three District Hospitals in Arusha.


Hospital type Missionary Hospital
Local language English / Swahili
Funding Status NGO/Charity


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