Cases of tourists falling sick during their trips to Tanzania are rare though it happens and realising that, a large modern hospital to offer international standards of treatments is under construction in an area close to Serengeti National Park.
The hospital has been built in north-western Tanzania's district of Serengeti, and will be serving people in the district and also foreign visitors at the adjacent national park. The new facility is expected to be completed next year.
"The Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) is one of the big players in the construction of the medical facility," Charles Mlingwa, Mara Regional Commissioner said here on Sunday.
TANAPA has contributed $22,319 (about Sh2.3 million) as part of its contribution towards the ambitious medical project.
"The construction works for the first phase are underway," explained Mlingwa, pointing out that the medical facility is planned to be like any other hospital found in developed countries.
Open by January
The first phase involves the setting up of the out-patient department wing and this has so far cost nearly $1 million (about Sh103.2 million) out of the planned $1.5 million (about Sh155 million) to complete the OPD buildings by December 2017, so that the hospital could open next January.
The Hospital will also provide medical services to 78 villages mapped within the Serengeti District in Mara Region.
Other than local residents, the modern medical facility also targets to cater for the nearly 400,000 tourists who visit the Serengeti National Park annually.
"While we are working to promote our tourist destinations across the country, it is now important to ensure that once the foreign visitors arrive here, they also get assured of reliable medical services when touring remote national parks," said Allan Kijazi, the TANAPA Director General.
Most foreign tourists who visit national parks come with their respective medical insurance covers and rely on flying doctors to airlift them to either Nairobi or Arusha cities upon falling ill during their game drives, however with the modern hospital in place, they can now be attended to right there in Serengeti.
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Key CBK Indicative Exchange Rates Used: $1 = Sh103.16