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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

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Read on to see responses from the IST Clinic team to Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19. Download the below document to have these FAQs in PDF form.

How does testing for COVID-19 work?

Testing for COVID-19 will only be done in discussion with one of the IST Medical Doctors and with the agreement of the patient. The IST Clinic collaborates with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to provide testing services. When requested, a mobile testing team from the MoH visits the Clinic to administer the test. The test is a swab of the throat and nose. Results typically take 24 hours. The Clinic will also administer blood tests to check for other possible infections, such as malaria, that require medical care. If you are positive for COVID-19, depending on your symptoms, you may be advised to self-isolate at home, treated at the IST Clinic, or referred to Aga Khan hospital.

If I am positive for COVID-19, what are my options for health care?

It is important to remember that an estimated 80% of patients with COVID-19 do not develop symptoms that require urgent medical care. The Clinic staff will assess your risk of developing a serious infection, including underlying conditions, and can conduct lab tests to monitor if the infection is developing in a more serious way and to identify any complications. For patients with mild symptoms, we advise self-isolation at home for 14 days. The Clinic will monitor your progress through regular phone calls and follow-up visits if necessary. For patients with complications or co-infection with another disease (e.g. malaria), we will provide care in the Clinic’s special facility, including medical observation, providing an IV drip and treatment for co-infections. We will check the oxygen saturation levels of COVID-19 patients as that is a reliable indicator of the severity of illness. If oxygen saturation levels are too low, the patient will be given oxygen and monitored for improvement. If a patient requires longer than 1-2 days of medical observation and needs a constant oxygen supply, we will refer the patient to Aga Khan Hospital.

I have a fever. What should I do?

Fever is a symptom of COVID-19, but also of malaria, dengue and other infections. Malaria and dengue are common in the rainy season and require urgent medical care. If you have a fever, it is important to contact the IST Clinic for a correct diagnosis and necessary treatment.

I am unable to come to the IST Clinic. What should I do?

The IST Clinic is offering house visits for those who are unable to visit the Clinic in person. This service includes a lab technician to take blood tests. Contact the Clinic to arrange a house visit. As addresses can be difficult to locate in Dar es Salaam, it would be appreciated if you can send a car with driver to transport Clinic staff to and from your home.

How has the IST Clinic prepared for COVID-19?

The IST Clinic is very well prepared and has put the following measures in place:

  • To reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our patients and staff, suspected COVID-19 patients are being evaluated and treated in a purpose-built facility adjacent to the Clinic. NonCOVID-19 patients can visit the Clinic as usual. Upon arrival at the Clinic, trained volunteers will provide you with instructions on where to go.
  • We are offering house visits for those who are unable to visit the Clinic in person.
  • All normal IST Clinic services are ongoing, including laboratory and pharmacy services.
  • The IST Clinic is following medical guidelines and protocols for COVID-19 from the Tanzania Ministry of Health, which are based on experiences and expertise from China and Europe, and we are constantly updating our medical knowledge to ensure the best care.
  • The Clinic has a good supply of oxygen. If a patient is likely to need a constant oxygen supply for several days, the patient will be transported by ambulance to Aga Khan Hospital for admission. Aga Khan Hospital has 7 ventilators in its isolation unit, and at least 15 ventilators in its intensive care unit (ICU) which could be used in case of emergency. SALI Hospital has one ventilator.

Where can I find advice on how to self-isolate at home?

We are preparing advice on how to self-isolate at home, which can be accessed on the IST Clinic Website or Facebook page.

I have a question about COVID-19. What should I do?

Check the IST Clinic website and Facebook page for updates. You can also contact the IST Clinic by email or phone. A phone consultation with one of the medical doctors can be booked with the reception staff. For a phone consultation, you will be charged a small fee ($20 for members, $30 non-members).

Telephone: 0784-783393 0688-783393 0718-783393 0782-783393


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Please download the document below for information about:

  • How to contact the IST Clinic if you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Further information about COVID-19
  • How to protect yourself and others


An online form is being prepared so that requests for COVID-19 consultation can be done online. This will come into effect in the coming days.

Until then please use the following telephone numbers and e-mail:

For COVID-19 related concerns

Telephone: 0784-783393   0688-783393   0718-783393   0782-783393


For non COVID-19 related appointments

Telephone: 0784-783393   0688-783393   0718-783393   0782-783393


Please note that all normal medical services of the IST Clinic, including laboratory and pharmacy services, will continue within the IST Clinic under strict preventive conditions. All COVID-19 services will be in a separate custom-built facility next to the IST Clinic in order to facilitate ongoing safe routine and emergency treatment within the IST Clinic.


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Covid-19 has arrived in Tanzania and the IST Clinic staff, in close cooperation with the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and regional and district health authorities , as well as with other Dar es Salaam health care providers are making all the necessary arrangements to distribute up to date information on Covid-19 as well as the consultation and testing services that are available . Please follow these posts on the IST Clinic website. Very soon information will be posted about Covid-19 and the best way to contact the IST Clinic with Covid-19 questions and requests for consultation and testing .

Importantly all Covid-19 suspected persons shall be seen in a separate facility right next the IST Clinic so that routine medical, laboratory, and pharmacy care at the IST Clinic can continue as normal .

It is important to recognize that not all fever is due to Covid-19 and, with the rainy season approaching, that other illnesses such as malaria and dengue fever also need to be considered in case of fever and generalized symptoms.


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Ebola has become a recent major health concern in West Africa. Fortunately there has been no spread to east Africa and there are no conformed reports of bola infections in Tanzania. In case of fever or other health symptoms following a recent visit to one of the Ebola affected West African countries please call the clinic in advance and pass on this information so that one of the medical practitioners can assess your risk and advise how to proceed.

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Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis)

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Recently we have been receiving many inquiries related to a national eradication programme of Lymphatic Filariasis ( LF), a chronic condition that can result in Elephantiasis. This is an advanced stage of the illness whereby body parts such as the limbs and the genitals can become irreversibly swollen due to disturbed drainage of the lymph vessels in the skin.

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The stresses of living away from home

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Culture shock is brought on by the anxiety that results from losing all our familiar signs and symbols of social intercourse. These signs or cues include the thousand and one ways in which we orient ourselves to the situations of everyday life: when to shake hands and what to say when we meet people, how to give orders, when to take statements seriously or not. These cues, which may be words, gestures, facial expressions, customs or norms, are acquired by all of us in the course of growing up and are as much a part of culture as the language we speak or the belief we accept. All of us depend for our peace of mind and our efficiency on hundreds of these cues, most of which we are not consciously aware of.

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Health in Tanzania

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These notes are intended to supplement the health information you may have been given before departure. It gives information on some of the common health problems in Tanzania, preventive measures you can take, where to seek treatment, and what to do in an emergency.

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Emergencies and evacuation

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Emergencies and evacuation
The IST Clinic can assist in medical emergency situations as well as medical evacuations.

For emergency transport and ambulance services the IST Clinic works closely with Knight Support Paramedic Ambulances Service, based in Dar es Salaam and Arusha.

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Welcome to the IST Clinic

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The IST Clinic is a primary care clinic in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which provides high quality health services. These services include general practice consultations, psychotherapy, laboratory services, a pharmacy, minor surgery and first aid care, antenatal and child clinics, ultrasound imaging and short term admission facilities.

The various web pages on this site will provide information on the IST Clinic, its services, opening hours and staff.

The site will also keep you informed of relevant health issues in Tanzania and provide health information for residents and visitors to Tanzania. Important new developments and additions to the services of the IST Clinic will also be posted on this site.

The site contains a membership subscription form of the IST Clinic for new patients wishing to make full use of the services that the IST Clinic has to offer.

Also available on this site is a patient personal data (update) form and we request members of the IST Clinic to register any changes to their address, location of residence, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses. This will assist the IST Clinic in staying up to date on your personal information and can be important during times of emergency as well as for more effective reporting of test results.

Finally there are e-mails addresses to contact the IST Clinic, in case you need further information or if you wish to pass on information and comments to the IST Clinic staff.

For general inquiries and comments  :   For appointments :    For invoice queries:

We hope you will find this site informative and useful and welcome any comments and suggestions you may have.

On behalf of the staff of the IST Clinic,

Ype Smit MD and Belia Klaassen MD

Contact us 0718 783393, 0746 499411, 0688 783391, 0784 783393 and 0684 7833920