History of St. Francis Referral Hospital

This old dispensary was the first hospital in Ifakara.
It was pulled down recently. Here is now placed the new University Campus


At this memorial storne
in the yard of the new University Campus you can read in English and Kisuaheli: "This is the place where admissions of SFDH patients started 1930"


  • 1921 Arrival of the first Baldegg Sisters from Switzerland
  • 1927 Opening of a dispensary
    1931 Opening of a hospital with 30 beds
  • 1937 Building of a labour ward
  • 1951 The first missionary doctor starts his work in Ifakara
  • 1953 The Austrian surgeon Dr. Karl Schöpf from Zams comes with his family to Tanganyika and becomes the new missionary doctor
  • 1955 Building of the new St. Francis Hospital begun
  • 1957 Opening of a research station of the Swiss Institute for Tropical Diseases
  • 1960 28/10: In the presence of the Governor of Tanganjika Sir Richard Turnbull opening of the new St. Francis Hospital
  • 1961 Tanganjika becomes independent with Julius Nyerere as first president; together with Zanzibar, the country is renamed Tanzania
  • 1967 Opening of the Leprosy Hospital “Nazareti” designed by the Tyrolean architect Ing. Norbert Heltschl, financed by the Diocese of Innsbruck under Bishop Dr. Paulus Rusch. In the same year, President Nyerere delivers the “Arusha Declaration”
  • 1969 Dr. Schöpf ends his work in Tanzania and returns to Zams. In the following years various medical specialists from Switzerland and Germany hold the position of Hospital Director
  • 1976 The hospital becomes Designated District Hospital for the Districts of Kilombero and Ulanga. The Roman-Catholic Diocese of Mahenge remains its owner
  • 1993 As first Tanzanian Dr. Patience L. Kibatala becomes both Director of the hospital and Head of the Surgical Department
  • 1995 Cooperation with the hospital in Zams/Tyrol begins
  • 2004 Foundation of the Association "Doctors for Ifakara”
  • 2009 Dr. Kibatala leaves the hospital and Dr. Anthony Magoda becomes the new Medical Director 
  • 2010 The hospital is appointed as Referral Hospital - Ifakara

Nazareti Leprosarium


  • 2011 The previous Administrator of outstanding merit, Fr. Cletus Uhinga, leaves the hospital for further studies in England. And so does Dr. Anthony Magoda for KCMC in Moshi to become a specialist in Urology. The new Medical Director is Dr. Angelo Nyamtema, the new Administrator Sr. Christabella Jacob Muna.
  • 2.01.2012 Dr. Karl Schöpf dies in Zams/Tirol

The new entrance area


  • 2012 The Swiss Development Organisation DEZA starts the renovation of the hospital.
  • 11.01.2012 The longtime Medical Director and Surgeon Dr. Patience Kibatala dies in Dar es Salaam
  • 2014 New Board of Directors:
  • Director General: Fr. Dr. Winfrid Gingo,
  • Director for Administration & Finance: Mr. Onesmo Pascal Ngenzi,
  • Director for Clinical Services: Dr. Anthony Mathew Magoda
  •  Director for Nursing Services: Mr. Meshack David Lubeleje
  • 2017 Installation of the Department of Ophthalmology
  • 2021 Installation of a Department of Orthopedic and for Community Health
  • 2021 The renovation of a part of the hospital by Swiss Develompent Organisation DEZA has been completed
  • Installation of a Department for Dialysis
  • Installation of a Heart and Lung Clinic
  • 2023: New Director General: Fr. Godfrey Hongo
              New Medical Director: Fr. Dr. Winfrid Hongo
              New Matron: Edna Ngapemba


Donations with Smartphone


Doctors for Ifakara
Hauptstraße 39b
A-6511 Zams in Tirol

email Web


Bank: Raiffeisen Bank Oberland-Reutte
A-6511 Zams
Recipient: Association "Doctors for Ifakara"
IBAN Code:
AT82 3699 0000 0553 0787


Doctors for Ifakara
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