Tanzania Assistant Medical Officers and Clinical Officers


  • Duncan Ndimbo


Tanzania, Medical Officers, Clinical Officers


In 1961 the implementation and construction of a training center in Tanzania, named the Rural Aid Centre was created with assistance from President Mwalimu Nyerere and Geigy Pharmaceutical Company and The Basel Foundation for the Advancement of Developing Countries.  The goal of this center was to support a training program in Ifakara, Tanzania, which offered a three-month basic first aid training to prepare locals to work in village dispensaries.


In 1973, with the success of the Rural Aid Centre, the Ministry of Health and the faculty at Dar es Salaam asked The Basel Foundation to help upgrade the center to a Medical Assistant Training Centre (MATC). The Foundation agreed to support the MATC for five years, including financing new infrastructure (e.g., new lecture halls and dormitories), and then transition it to local ownership. COs were amongst the first  cadre trained. 


In 1978, the Tanzanian government took responsibility for the MATC. Heavy seasonal rains and inadequate maintenance left the MATC in disrepair. The head of another local health institution recounted, “The MATC was really starting to go down, not enough funding, poor management, no innovation and leadership is lacking.” In 1994, the MATC upgraded to again to become a Clinical Officer Training Center (COTC).  Clinical Officers then had the ability to train as a CO or extended training to become an Assistant Medical Officer.  The Clinical Officer and Assistant Medical Officer profession has had a few name changes and undergone many trials and tribulations but has come out as one of the main health cadres providing care to the country.

Author Biography

Duncan Ndimbo

Duncan Ndimbo is a Principal Clinical Officer in Tanzania East Africa. He started as a Clinical Assistant in 1995 and is now a Principal Clinical Officer. He is the owner and director of Mtwivila Dispensary and CEO of a Green Future Dream Initiative Non-Governmental Organization registered in Tanzania Mainland.

He is a Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision provider and National Trainer of Trainers on VMMC. Additionally, he serves as the Chairman of Board of Neema Rehabilitation Polyclinic owned by Anglican Church Iringa, a Health coordinator to the Anglican Church of Tanzania Diocese of Ruvuma, a board Member of Neema Craft Disabled Centre, and is a chairman of See Ability First International Tanzania (SAFi), an organization registered in the United Kingdom. Duncan works all across Tanzania and East Africa.




How to Cite

Ndimbo, D. (2021). Tanzania Assistant Medical Officers and Clinical Officers. Social Innovations Journal, 8. Retrieved from https://socialinnovationsjournal.com/index.php/sij/article/view/989