Kivunge and Makunduchi Hospitals

District General Hospital | Kivunge, Tanzania

Hospital description

Kivunge is a small cottage hospital in a rural area in the north of Zanzibar. It has 60 inpatient beds, with a typical occupancy of 10-30 patients on the general wards at any one time, and 200 births per month in the maternity unit. The combined primary healthcare centre/outpatients department sees around 75-100 patients per day.

Kivunge is managed by Health Improvement Project Zanzibar (HIPZ), a UK charity established in 2006 by Ru MacDonagh, a consultant surgeon based in Taunton. HIPZ took over the running of the hospital in 2012 at the request of the President of Zanzibar, due to HIPZ’s successes since 2007 in improving the services at Makunduchi, a smaller hospital in the south of the island. While both hospitals remain under the statutory responsibility of the Zanzibari Ministry of Health, HIPZ employs a hospital manager at each site, and contributes a great deal to the infrastructure and day-to-day running of both hospitals. HIPZ also funds long-term volunteer doctors and other healthcare professionals who work with local staff to improve hospital services. HIPZ has a strong focus on sustainability, with the aim of returning both hospitals to full Zanzibari delivery after a specified period of time.

HIPZ has revolutionised the services at both hospitals, with a significant improvement in both clinical outcomes and the confidence of the local people. Some of the charity’s achievements to date include:

  • Building of a Primary Health Care Unit at each site
  • Training of a surgeon, two anaesthetic officers, a theatre nurse, two ultrasonographers and a dental officer
  • Creation of a new purpose-built Maternity Unit at Makunduchi, with plans underway for a similar Unit at Kivunge
  • Establishment of a Comprehensive Obstetric Service including provision for Caesarean sections, and a free ambulance service to collect women in labour
  • Renovation and equipping of the Operating Theatres, where elective surgery now takes place on a weekly basis
  • Establishment of a blood transfusion service
  • Improvements to the laboratory
  • Setting up an ultrasound service
  • Renovation the hospital wards
  • Revolutionising of dental services
  • Provision education in schools about public health, dental hygiene, family planning
  • Supporting of local school-leavers to study at the College of Health Sciences

Students are generally placed at Kivunge Hospital, but may be able to spend part or all of their placement at Makunduchi.


Hospital type District General Hospital
Local language Swahili and English
Funding Status NGO/Charity


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