Our goal is to improve the quality of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Tanzania and to make it available to most of the Tanzanian people. To achieve our goal, we seek support from the Tanzanian government and the boards of the National Hospital (Muhimbili), the three Zonal referral hospitals (KCMC, Bugando, Mbeya), and the recently established Tanzanian Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

Our vision

The goal can best be achieved by improving the self-sufficiency of the Tanzanian Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (OMFS). More Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have to be trained and the three existing Zonal referral hospitals have to be equipped with specific instruments to adequately treat the patients.

Target group

The number of patients with infections, trauma in the facial region and tumours is enormous. The tumours are often very large requiring resection of parts of the jaws, These patients are often first “treated” by local “traditional healers”, resulting in even bigger tumours because of the delay in adequate treatment. The patients are often first seen by dental therapists, who refer them to a dentist. They, in turn, refer them to Muhimbili National Hospital or the two zonal referral hospitals that have a department of OMFS. There are currently two Zonal referral hospitals with a department of OMFS; Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) in the north west of the country, near Lake Victoria, and the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) at Moshi. A third department is planned for at Mbeya, in the south east of the country.


Tanzania is about 945,087 km² (587,000 square miles) with approximately 65 million citizens. Dar es Salaam is located on the east coast, which for most of the citizens means several days of traveling from their own community. The Muhimbili National Hospital is the only place where OMF surgeons can be trained.

The main problem is: how can these patients function after the operation in their local environment? Major Oral-and Maxillofacial surgery does not only lead to visible mutilations but often also create functional impairments. Can these patients eat their normal food in their home-environment and as a result have a normal life?
In many cases the patients also suffer from anaemia or some forms of malnutrition, requiring additional measures to be taken before the operation can take place. The flow of patients is immense. The team in Dar es Salaam tries to find individual solutions with relatively simple means to allow most patients to function normally after treatment. A special reconstruction method for continuity resection of the mandible had been introduced in 2002, which has been very successful, resulting in two publications.

Doctors and hospitals

Development aid is not just a matter of finance. The most important contribution we can make is to help improve the quality of treatment locally and enhance the skills and knowledge of the local colleagues. Therefore, it is essential to ensure a sufficient number of well qualified specialists. Due to the Foundation’s efforts and the help of the IAOMS Foundation there is currently enough expertise in the Muhimbili Hospital in Dar es Salaam. They currently also have the necessary equipment, whereas a special reconstruction method for a partially resected mandible, introduced in 2003, has paid off. The department in Muhimbili has gained a tremendous expertise in this matter.
There are currently two zonal referral hospitals with a department of OMFS; Bugando Medical Centre (BMC) in the north west of the country, near Lake Victoria and the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in the north-east of the country. A third department is planned for at the Mbeya zonal referral hospital, in the south east of the country.


With the support from this foundation the development of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery has been impressive in Tanzania in the 20 year period from 2003-2023. Read more about this on our pages Accomplished and Progress reports.