At Lutindi Mental Hospital you can do your healthcare internship in the middle of the breathtaking scenery of the Usambara mountains in northern Tanzania. Gain valuable work experience in mental health while supporting one of the leading psychiatric hospitals in Tanzania and improving your intercultural skills. At Lutindi you will gain insight into psychiatric care in the context of scarce resources and a different cultural understanding and approach, which will challenge you both professionally and personally. Internships are possible for students of psychology, social work, medicine, nursing and occupational therapy.
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- Country: Tanzania
- City: Usambara
- Departments available for internship: Inpatient ward, occupational therapy department, outpatient clinic in Korogwe.
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- Hospital description - further details: Lutindi Mental Hospital is located near Korogwe in the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, which is between Moshi and Daressalam; around 4 hours by bus from Moshi or 7 hours from Daressalam.
It is probably Tanzania's psychiatric hospital of highest standards. As opposed to other mental hospitals in the country, occupational therapy plays a central role at Lutindi.
The private hospital was founded in 1896 by German missionaries and became a mental hospital as early as in 1904. It is financially supported by foreign church organisations (United Evangelical Mission) and since its inception has been directed by German mental health specialists in cooperation with German psychiatric organisations. Lutindi Mental Hospital is affiliated with Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University in Lushoto/Tanzania, which has a Bachelor Program in Mental Health and also a one-year specialisation course in Psychiatry for clinical officers. Both courses were developed in cooperation with the Bethel Foundation Germany and psychiatrist Prof. Dr. Albert Diefenbacher, director of Hospital Königin Elisabeth Herzberger Berlin.
The hospital is located in the Tanga region within the plain nature of the Usambara mountains, surrounded by farm land, which also belongs to the hospital. It is only reachable by a steep, winded road on a mountain, around 13 km outside the town of Korogwe. Three villages with a total population of around 3000 are reachable by foot. This location, which differs a lot from the big city life of Dar-es-Salaam or Arusha where most of the patients come from, and which therefore is a big change of location and lifestyle, is fundamental to the recovery process of the patients. It is the hospital's aim to involve the patients who suffer from mental problems including substance abuse, psychosis or schizophrenia, into a fixed daily schedule of countryside-life activities.
Activities carried out as part of occupational therapy include tea farming (harvesting twice per week, processing, packaging), the production of sisal products (door mats, etc.) carpentry and wood work, animal keeping, cheese-making, and gardening. The hospital runs its own tea plantation and tea factory. Sisal fibres are first spun, dyed and then woven to mats, baskets, hats etc. The farm has cows whose milk is processed to cheese, and there is cultivation of fruits and vegetables. All of these products are sold at various shops, including the Dar-es-Salaam airport shop, and at church shops in Europe.
New patients usually spend their first 2 weeks at the closed inpatient department where they are treated with medication. Afterwards they start Occupational Therapy activities according to their interest. The total duration of stay is usually 2 months. Around 450 in-patients are treated every year at Lutindi, including repeat patients.
Lutindi also runs a psychiatric outpatient clinic 3 days a week at the town of Korogwe, which is often attended by former in-patients. Korogwe is located half way between Dar-es-Salaam and Arusha/Moshi along one of Tanzania's main highways and is therefore easily reachable by public transport.
- Number of total beds at inpatient department 120
- Approximate total annual number of outpatients 5000
- Typical day and tasks of an intern: Interns will shadow professionals at the hospital and assist with various tasks such as: Participation in the morning report
* Participation in new admissions,
* Daily ward rounds,
* Drug management,
* Participation in group counselling (3 times per week for drug addicts, which are around 30% of the patients), done by the social workers,
* Participation in one-to-one counselling (twice per week done by clinical officers),
* Participation in group counselling for patients with schizophrenia/psychosis (saturdays),
* Assisting at the outpatients' clinic in Korogwe (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday with nursing officers),
* Working with patients at occupational therapy activities (e.g. tea factory, farm etc).
Interns are encouraged to be pro-active and arrange activities and sessions for the patients as well.
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