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Polyclinique Aga Khan à Zanzibar
A new health “polyclinic” will provide Zanzibar's one million residents with access to a wide range of health services, from disease detection and health emergencies to enhanced dental care. The Aga Khan clinic, supported by AFD, was inaugurated on 25 April, as part of the drive to expand and improve access to healthcare throughout Tanzania.

Improving access to health care for all 

Like much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Zanzibar lacks medical personnel, with just 0.4 doctors per 1,000 people on the island, compared to a world average of 1.6 and close to 4 per 1,000 in the European Union. This shortage of health professionals is causing long wait times and limited access to quality care, sometimes forcing Zanzibaris to travel to the mainland to access specialists. 

A new polyclinic seeks to improve access to healthcare, with a team of highly-trained specialists. Inaugurated on 25 April  in Zanzibar’s former Stone Town dispensary, the polyclinic will provide Zanzibar's one million residents with access to a variety of health services and the latest technology in disease detection, ophthalmology, cardiopulmonary services, as well as a pharmacy and enhanced dental care.   

"The creation of this community health center in Zanzibar and its link with the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam will allow the islanders to access affordable and quality health care on their doorstep," said the French Ambassador to Tanzania, H.E. Nabil Hajlaoui.

Further reading: AFD - Aga Khan Partnership for Improved Healthcare in East Africa

Aga Khan- AFD: a long-standing partnership 

The renovation and equipping of this new clinic was financed by AFD, with a loan of 2 billion Tanzanian shillings or €800,000. This is part of a larger project supported by AFD, which features the expansion of the Aga Khan Hospital in Dar es Salaam. Considered a leading teaching and tertiary hospital, with the goal of managing 35 community health facilities across Tanzania. 

Tertiary hospitals provide highly specialized medical care, usually over extended periods, involving advanced diagnostics, procedures and treatments performed by medical specialists in state-of-the-art facilities.
"Our relationship with France goes back many years and extends to many projects around the world,” said Princess Zahra Aga Khan. “The French government and AFD are committed to improving access to health for all, especially in East Africa." 

A historic building

The old dispensary was built in 1887 and then leased to the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) by the Zanzibar government in 1990. Between 1994 and 1996, the AKTC restored the old dispensary building. 

Then in April 2022, the Stone Town Conservative Development Authority (STDA) approved the renovation of the facility by the Aga Khan Polyclinic, while continuing to maintain it as a historic site.

Aga Khan ensured that the renovation was consistent with the traditional architecture of Stone Town's Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.