One question that comes up now and again from prospective Gap Medics students (and more specifically from their parents!) is “How safe is Tanzania?”
It’s an understandable question to ask when considering your medical placement, if you have never visited the African Continent many peoples only experience of it is what they have heard and seen from the media.
Firstly, many people tend to think of Africa as a country rather than a continent. It is split into 53 different countries and takes up over 20% of the planets total land area. It is a vast Continent and with that comes many variable country and cultural differences.
Generally my experience of the media portrayal of Africa is a negative one with there being widespread reports of poverty, violence, starvation and instability in the continent. This does unfortunately happen in abundance in some African Countries but there isn’t nearly enough positive promotion of countries such as Tanzania.
Tanzania is a relatively safe and stable African Country.
The Global Peace Index 2009 which ranks 144 nations of the world by their peacefulness based on a multitude of factors ranked Tanzania as the 59th most peaceful country in the world. To put that in perspective the Uk was ranked 35th and the USA ranked 83rd.
Below is Tanzania’s ranking in the global peace index:
There are of course things you need to be cautious of wherever you travel in the world such as petty crime but as long as you are vigilant, you should have no problems.
Check out www.carolinesrainbowfoundation.org for some useful safety tips.
As a Gap Medics student you would be picked up from the airport and taken to our secure gap medics house in Iringa. Once in the house we only let Gap Medic students in and you have support of a project manager, student mentor, housekeeper, chef and sometimes a gap medics company director, aswell as 24/7 UK based support.
So relax and relish the thought of going to Tanzania, enjoy your Medical placement here and all the beauty and cultural enrichment that fabulous Tanzania will bring. Have some Ugali for us!