Orderlies Makunduchi 2

Our Work

We’re always looking for new ways to improve healthcare in Zanzibar. Take a look through some of our key projects, and see how they’re changing people’s lives for the better.

Mothers and babies

Since the beginning, we’ve been passionate about improving the quality of care that mothers and babies receive. We’ve renovated maternity wards, introduced the Kangaroo Mothercare technique for low-weight babies, trained birth attendants and introduced c-sections to hospitals that previously couldn’t offer them. All of these have saved so many precious lives.

But because we never rest on our laurels, we’re now working to improve treatments for women who suffer post-partum haemorrhages – a leading cause of death for mothers in Zanzibar. We’re also training extra birth attendants, meaning more hands to help babies arrive safely.

58,000 babies born in our care since 2007

Maternal mortality has reduced from 365 in 100,000 to 155 in 100,000


This is a huge problem for the people of Zanzibar. Since 2014, we’ve been working with the Zanzibar International Development Organisation (ZIDO) to provide formula milk to the babies and children who need it most. We’ve got big plans to grow our work in this area, including training health workers and nutrition outreach workshops in the community.

Every month, we treat 50 babies and young children in our two malnutrition clinics.


Mental Health

One of our proudest achievements is the success of our mental health programmes. We’ve worked with a pioneering group of psychiatrists to introduce mental health services in hospital clinics and out in the community. 

We bought an initiative from Zimbabwe called Friendship Bench to Zanzibar. This programme was designed to provide support for people with anxiety and depression, and is delivered in the heart of the community. With the help of Comic Relief funding, we trained over 100 community health volunteers to deliver Friendship Bench, and in 2021 we’re working on the next phase of this project.

Our mental health services have supported more than 17,000 patients over the years.

Emergency Medicine

Imagine needing emergency care but an A&E being hours out of reach. That was the reality for many people when we arrived – with just the one emergency department in the capital. We’re hard at work creating emergency departments in both Makunduchi and Kivunge Hospitals, so even rural communities can access live-saving care. We hope to open Kivunge’s A&E by early 2022.

Kiv ED sign Feb 22

Preventing and treating burns

While they may sound rare to us, burns are one of the leading causes of injuries to children in Zanzibar. Since 2019, we’ve been working with a team of international specialists to identify ways we can improve the care of burn injuries. Covid struck part-way through this project, so we’re now working to secure funding to restart these critical outreach programmes.


When we first took on both hospitals, the surgical theatres were in a state of disrepair. Now if you head into one of our hospitals, you’ll find fully renovated theatres with new equipment and trained anaesthetists. In 2022, we’re planning to train another anaesthetist, thanks to the support of Pharmanovia.

We have redeveloped 3 operating theatres and trained 4 anaesthetists, making it possible for vital operations to be offered in both Makunduchi and Kivunge.

More than 93,000 operations have been conducted as a result of the work we’ve done to improve the surgical facilities in the two hospitals.

HIPZ Mak Emergency room '15

Anti-microbial resistance

AMR is one of the biggest threats to health around the world. Antibiotics are prescribed too often and for illnesses they don’t treat – making medicine less effective when people really need it and finding drugs that work even more difficult. We’re collaborating with the leading agencies in Zanzibar to deliver an AMR strategy that raises awareness and improves training in health facilities.

Hospital infrastructure, equipment and medicine

In developed countries, we’re used to hospitals having all the equipment we need. Ordering drugs, replacing a lightbulb or topping up supplies doesn’t seem like a big ask. In Zanzibar, it’s not that simple. As well as financial barriers, their location as a small island off the coast of Africa comes with its own unique supply chain challenges. We’re working closely with hospital management teams to improve and repair facilities, as well as investing in essential equipment, medicines and supplies.

We have renovated over 20 wards, built 5 wards from scratch, redeveloped 25 staff houses and built two Outpatient Departments.


Health management systems and processes

When we began working in Makunduchi Hospital, it was more than just the buildings that needed support. There were no established systems or processes to manage patients and treatments. 

We started by constructing a brand new outpatient department so that we could separate patients needing an outpatient treatment (such as vaccinations) from those who needed to be admitted to a ward. This simple step laid the foundation for a hospital with a proper process, and we continue to work hand-in-hand with the local team to ensure and improve the smooth running of the hospitals.


It’s common in Africa for your only dental solution to be extraction. We introduced dentistry clinics at both hospitals, offering free services and providing restorative dentistry for those who visit. We’re also out working in the community to educate locals on the importance of dental hygiene, reducing the need for treatments down the line.


COVID-19 Response

When the pandemic began to sweep the world, we were at the forefront of Zanzibar’s response. We worked with the Ministry of Health to procure PPE for the health workers, and with the help of Stanford University students, we delivered 100,000 masks. Thanks to the generosity of all of our supporters, we were able to keep delivering our services uninterrupted throughout the peak of the crisis.

Support Us Today

Our work is made possible by the support of our partners and friends.