Drug Use in Tanzania

Tanzania 2013

By Almudena Toral

October 14, 2013

Also published by Almudena Toral

I'm waiting for the third day in a row for a character that never shows up in the “Sheraton Camp” in Temeke, Dar es Salaam. Heroin addicts like the two crossing the frame here meet at Sheraton to buy and use drugs. The box in the corner was placed by Medecins du Monde to collect used needles and keep the neighborhood clean. They also distribute as many clean needles as they want in their drop-in center.

A Tanzanian reggae singer sings a song about drugs addiction and being on methadone at Muhimbili National Hospital’s methadone clinic in Dar es Salaam. He says he’s been using heroine for 16 years. Tanzania opened Sub-Saharan’s first mainland methadone clinic for drug addicts in 2011. They currently see 640 clients, only 30 of which are women. When the clinic first opened, clients would often get violent and come with weapons, a doctor in the clinic said. After vetting, education and a few graphic posters pictured here, mornings like today’s go peaceful and bring no surprises.

Medical Illustrations Department, Muhambili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Almudena Toral is reporting from Tanzania as a fellow with the International Reporting Project (IRP).