By: Mallya Godfrido RN, Art in Tanzania Intership

Ginger is grown in Kilimanjaro, Kigoma,Ruvuma, Morogoro, Kagera and Mbeya region.

Currently, Ginger in Kilimanjaro is widely grown in Same District, particularly on the slopes of Usambara Mountains the ancient range in northeast Tanzania, which is part of the Eastern Arc.

Ginger is a versatile botanical plant that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. Drinking ginger tea can provide you with many health benefits. Not everyone can benefit from ginger tea. However, you should check with your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, using blood thinners, have bleeding disorders, heart disease or high blood pressure before using ginger or its products, according to the Physicians’ Desktop Reference.

Apart from enhancing flavor in cooking as spice condiments ginger also has been used by Humans for medical purposes

Gingerol Benefits

Ginger root contains gingerol, which increases the motility of the gastrointestinal tract, according to Nutrition. Gingerol also contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Nausea and vomiting relief

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), ginger has been a treatment for upset stomach, diarrhea and nausea for more than 2,000 years. Although you can eat ginger raw, as a candy or cooked, the tea form is most common for medicinal purposes. In a study reprinted on the UMMC website, a gram of ginger daily for up to four days was shown to help relieve nausea. This relief was greater for pregnant women than for people with motion sickness or nausea from a surgical operation.

Increase Vitamin C Level

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that the body cannot produce or store; you must take it daily to avoid vitamin C deficiency. The lemon in ginger and lemon tea contains vitamin C, although the amount varies according to how much you add to the tea. Vitamin C is a factor in preventing certain cancers, such as mouth, stomach and breast. This vitamin is also an antioxidant that helps protect the cells against free radical damage, harmful molecules that form in the body due to anything from cigarette smoke to chemicals in foods.

Cold and Flu relief

Ginger and lemon are both known for their vitamin C content. When you have a cold or flu, stock up on these antioxidants to help boost your immune system and recover quickly. Ginger with honey can relieve coughing, sore throat and runny nose, according to Organic Facts. Lemon is also a traditional remedy for colds and sore throat. Brew lemon and ginger tea and add honey for a cold remedy.


Ginger tea may offer antiviral properties, Balch writes. Fresh ginger root may help destroy virus cells that cause common colds, influenza, cold sores and genital herpes. It may also help fight the spread of established viruses, speeding recovery from colds and flu, and reducing the frequency and severity of herpes outbreaks.

Cancer therapy

The chemicals in fresh ginger tea may help shrink cancerous tumors, according to Castleman. This may help prevent the spread of cancer and may increase your chances of cancer remission. However, scientific studies have only been conducted on animals, so the anti-cancer benefits of ginger tea for humans are unclear.

Arthritis treatment

Fresh ginger tea may help reduce inflammation of muscles and connective tissues. This may help ease pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. However, ginger tea cannot prevent the degradation of muscle and bone cells associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Digestive health

Lemon ginger tea may benefit your digestive health and function. A compound found in ginger root called gingerol, may stimulate mobility in your intestines, relieving constipation. Gingerol may also have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which helps keep your gastrointestinal tract healthy. Ginger may also alleviate some of the symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, such as an upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea. Ginger root extracts, including those in lemon ginger tea, have been used during pregnancy and after surgery for the treatment of acute nausea.

Environmental Disaster Management in Tanzania

By Baraka Mwampalile – Art in Tanzania internship


Definition of key terms

Disaster- we can define as the serious disruptions occurring over a short period of time that cause widespread human, material, economic and environmental loss which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources.

It can be as natural or man-made disasters such as drought, floods, earthquakes, cyclones, eruption of diseases, bomb explosions and accidents both on land, air and water.

Disaster management

As the organization and management of resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian aspect of emergencies in particular preparedness, response and recovery in order to lessen the impact of disasters. It includes all procedure, processes, agencies and institutional framework which are inter-linkage each other to manage hazards.

General overview of Disaster Management in Tanzania

Tanzania mainland is exposed of many hazard including floods, drought, cyclones, volcanic eruptions, tsunami and earthquakes, all of which have potential of disrupting the community in term of social economic services, ecological, environmental and health. Similar, Tanzania under the prime minister identifying that, major disasters in our country are floods, drought and earthquakes which causing casualties and damaging or destroying the public or private property.

Similar, Tanzania government since independence introducing The disaster Management Department (DMD) under the prime minister office which has the main work on identifying and anticipating hazards and preparations of plans, programs against disasters impacts so as to save lives and protect property.

Status of Disaster Management in Tanzania

Through different scholars and disaster personnel making researchers on the trend of disaster since independence up to current. The united republic of Tanzania government trying take an efforts on to lessen up the impacts of disasters like earthquakes, drought and floods by making policies (Disaster Management Policy of 2004), Disaster Act, of 2015, programs like N’gorongoro community base disaster management, introduction of institutions providing expertise dealing with disaster and environmental for example The university of Dar es salaam and The university of Dodoma and supervising coordination among the institutions on time of hazard occurrence like fire department, health sector, policy force and other ministries agencies on reducing the directed impacts to the community. Although those efforts but still now our country suffer from disrupting of natural disaster.

The possible challenges are poor implementation of policies and acts whereby on paperwork comprises of all measures and actions on preparedness, response and recovery but still on reality based on response stages where government allocates their resources effectively compared to other stages. Also, we challenged with shortage of disaster expertise which are more potential in all sectors through on making and implementation of policies, acts, preparations of programs and plans, provision of awareness to the community. Furthermore, educational institutions are very few which provide each year’s personnel such as Ardhi University and The University of Dodoma.

Table: Disasters current trend

Types of DisasterPlaceYearsImpacts
FloodsDar es Salaam27-05-2019total number  of people affected with flood (2-death)
DroughtAgro-ecological zones2011-2016Reductions crops-yields 7.
EarhquakesKagera20161170-total number of people affected with earthquakes(UNCEF)
  • Why developing countries, it is commonly lack of funds, equipment and educated people to manage the Disaster situations.

Lack of funds. Most of political ruling systems in developing countries invaded with political issues which trigger management of disaster. Every ruling system comes with their political ideology which based on other sectors than directions of enough resources on disaster management. For example, in 2015 the late president Dr. Joseph John Pombe Magufuli came up with investment on industrial economy whereby a lot of funds invested on industries compared to disaster department. Also, there is no proper coordination on resources ownership among stakeholders, agencies and ministries. In addition, most developing countries depend on donor countries which create an environment to depend all the time on international donors during disaster strike for example Tanzania on disasters project depend on much world banks which sponsor constructions and repairing infrastructures affected with floods.

  • Equipment

We have low technological advancement in term of innovations which are most important to produce equipment used on weather forecasting, early warning systems and transportation equipment services like cars, airplane. Although current some developing countries taking actions on creation of weather forecasting satellite which are used on provisions of cyclones information  (SADC, 4IR satellite launching on 27-10-2020).

Figure: SADC, 4IR satellite louching 2020


Allocation of enough budget in disaster management. Tanzania government current they should increases more budgets which will help to minimize the impacts of disaster in social-economic and environment. Also they should creating proper economic diversification where sectors are more priorities to acquire enough capital they should contribute to disaster department which will help to access more equipment like weather forecasting equipment, warning systems and rescue equipment which will bring benefits to our country specifically in rural areas community will access easily warning Information and educations on how to conserve environment (land, water and air).

Similar, Tanzania government they should increases number of institutions on provision of disasters education for aiming of increasing number of disaster experts, provision of education on practical rather than theoretical and provisions of disaster experts in all sectors on provision of educations and preparations of plans and programs. Furthermore, government should make sure policies and Acts are well implemented not remaining on paperwork.

In addition, technology should be improved at all levels so as to create better conditions for making sustainably country on technological innovations. Both local technologies and modern technologies should be emphasized so as to reduce the impacts of disasters from national up to local levels, for example using insects, animals on weather forecasting and prediction, food storage facilities (modern and local) which will bring positive impacts on environment and social-economic aspects against disaster impacts.

Indoor Air Pollution

What is indoor air pollution?

            Indoor air pollution is when the condition of air surrounding building settings both inside and out is detrimental to the health of living beings. It is especially dangerous in comparison to outdoor air pollution because of how confined the space is within a building as opposed to the space outside.

            Some of the causes of indoor air pollution are a result of the materials used to construct the building, practices followed in and around the building, and natural contaminants. Asbestos can be found in roofing panels and shingles, insulation materials, water supply lines, and cement pipes. Formaldehyde can be found in wood products, press fabrics, glues, paints, pesticides, cosmetics, and detergents. Radon gas can be found within the ground beneath homes and slip in through any cracks or openings in the home. Tobacco smoke can accumulate if smoking is done around or within the home. Biological pollutants such as bacteria, mold and animal dander can enter the home from outside. Appliances such as stoves and heaters can release carbon monoxide and nitrogen monoxide.

            Asbestos is a material that is harmful to health and has been made illegal to use as a building material in many countries. Formaldehyde will gather within a home if there is no proper ventilation. Radon gas can leak into homes if the gas in the ground is not removed or reduced. Tobacco smoke will increase if continued smoking is done inside or around the home. Biological pollutants grow if the environment in the home has damp or humid areas. Appliances that are used without proper ventilation can cause more harmful gases to reside within the home.

What are other household pollutants?

            Charcoal is often used for cooking and heating because of its availability and modest price. Without proper ventilation smoke from charcoal that stays trapped in the homes causes harm to the residents in the building. Organic waste and poor sewage treatment are more biological pollutants that are often improperly left within and around the homes releasing many harmful gases into the air. Along with a lack of practical toilets, the buildup of waste makes the increase of indoor air pollution more potent.  

What does it affect?

            The main complications that arise from indoor air pollution is the effect it has on human health as those areas inside and outside the buildings become a very unsafe environment to live in. Both short term and long-term illnesses can develop due to indoor air pollutants. Eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue are some of the more milder health issues. Long-term illnesses include respiratory diseases such as asthma, allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart conditions such as angina, arrythmia, heart attacks, heart failure and hypertension, and cancer. Pneumonia, stroke, ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer can become fatal health risks.

            The ones most affected are usually women and young children who spend more time in and around their homes. Older adults, people with existing heart conditions, and those with breathing/lung problems and illnesses are also at risk.

            Different instruments for cooking, heating, and lighting are powered using kerosene, biomass, coal, and charcoal. To collect some of these materials, it exhausts a lot of time especially for women and children. This takes away time that could be spent to work or attend school. Individuals can become injured from gathering the fuel and can develop musculoskeletal damage. Safety can become a big issue as kerosene can be accidently consumed and often results in childhood poisoning. Severe burns can also occur. A lot of the black carbon and methane released from these instruments can contribute to climate change pollutants.

What are some solutions?

            Eco-friendly stoves are one way to reduce emissions of gases if alternative methods to burning wood or charcoal are applied. Solar power and other natural fuel sources like biomass, volcanic rocks and briquettes can be used. These energy sources are sustainable as they last for a long time and do not emit the harmful gases that contribute to air pollution. Solar panels can be installed and hooked up to the stove to supply energy. Solar energy is a large potential power source as the geographical location increases the amount of sunlight that can be captured. Volcanic rocks can be heated up and then used. These rocks can be reused for up to two years. Briquettes are made from dried pruned branches that are then carbonized and combined with a natural binder. The briquettes produce low carbon emissions.

            Heating is usually done with traditional fireplaces that typically require coal, charcoal, or wood. A more ecofriendly alternative that will not emit those harmful pollutants is an electric fireplace. Smoke which contains carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, two very harmful gases, will no longer be released. These fireplaces are more effective at heating up the home as chimneys and specialized vents aren’t needed. The heat cannot escape from the homes through those spots, which normally occurs in traditional fireplaces. LED bulbs are used which drains less electricity comparatively to standard bulbs and can last up to 50,000 hours. These fireplaces can be positioned in any room in the house and demands little maintenance.

            Proper ventilation and air circulation allow gas buildup to leave the home and biological pollutants to not accumulate. Many household gases can be harmful as appliances that require the burning of materials to run release a lot of gases. Some of the chemicals in the house from the framework and structure of the building also release gases that do not leave the home. With proper ventilation using ducts, pipes and placing items within the home in certain locations, reduces the stockpiling of gases. Interior doors should be left open, and furniture should be kept away from outside walls. Humidity and dampness can also lessen as this limits the creation of a habitat for more biological pollutants to grow.

            Composting organic waste is one way to prevent harmful gases from transpiring in your home. Dry composting toilets take human waste and turns it into compost. This eliminates the need to have a sewage system as proper or lack thereof of such systems has greatly minimized appropriate sanitation methods and organic waste disposable. Other organic waste such as food scraps can also be composted in green bins.   

What will be impacted?

            Shrinking and possibly eliminating indoor air pollution with these potential solutions means that the risks will no longer be present. The health of the residents is severely impacted and if the pollution were to decrease, the improvement in their health will allow them to live much more comfortable and longer lives. They will be able to pursue education and work to further enhance their futures. 


Ebola in Africa

Tiffany Lo-Art in Tanzania Internship

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), most commonly known as just Ebola, is a rare and deadly disease in people and nonhuman primates (CDC, 2021). The viruses that cause the disease are located mainly in sub-Saharan Africa (CDC, 2021). People can become infected with the disease through direct contact with an infected animal (bat or nonhuman primate) or a sick or dead person that was infected with the Ebola virus. (CDC, 2021).  

It is caused by an infection with a group of viruses within the genus Ebolavirus:

  • Ebola virus (species Zaire ebolavirus)
  • Sudan virus (species Sudan ebolavirus)
  • Taï Forest virus (species Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivorie ebolavirus)
  • Bundibuygo virus (species Bundibuygo ebolavirus)
  • Reston virus (species Reston ebolavirus)
  • Bombali virus (species Bombali ebolavirus)

Of these, only four (Ebola, Sudan, Taï Forest, and Bundibuygo) are known to cause disease in people (CDC, 2021). Reston virus is known to cause disease in nonhuman primates and pigs, but not in people, whereas it is currently unknown if Bombali virus causes diseases in either animals of people (CDC, 2021).

According to the World Health Organization, the average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%, although case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks (World Health Organization, 2021).


Scientists believe that people are initially infected with Ebola virus through contact with an infected animal, such as a fruit bat or nonhuman primate (CDC, 2021). After that, the virus spreads among people (CDC, 2021).

The virus is spread through direct contact, such as through broken skin or mucous membranes in the nose, eyes, or mouth, with:

  • Blood of body fluids (urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, amniotic fluid, semen) of a person who is sick with or has died from the virus
  • Objects, such as clothing, bedding, needles, and medical equipment that were contaminated with body fluids from a person who is sick with or has died from the virus
  • Semen from a man who recovered from the virus (through oral, vaginal, or anal sex). The virus can remain in certain body fluids of a patient who has recovered from the disease, even if they no longer have symptoms of severe illness. Currently, there is no evidence that Ebola can be spread through sex or other contact with vaginal fluids from a woman who had the virus

When people first become infected with the virus, they do not start showing or developing symptoms right away (CDC, 2021). A person can only spread Ebola to other people after they develop signs and symptoms of Ebola (CDC, 2021).

The virus is not known to be transmitted through food (CDC, 2021). However, through the handling and consumption of wild animal meat or wild animals infected with ebola, the virus can spread (CDC, 2021).

Symptoms and Ebola Diagnosis

Symptoms may occur anywhere from 2-21 days after contact with Ebola virus, with an average of 8-10 days (CDC, 2021). The illness typically progresses from “dry” symptoms such as fever, aches, pains, and fatigue to “wet” symptoms. Such as diarrhea and vomiting when the person becomes more ill (CDC, 2021).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some primary symptoms of Ebola include some or several of the following:

  • Fever
  • Aches and pains, such as a severe headache, joint and muscle pain, and stomach pain
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Unexplained hemorrhaging, bleeding or bruising

Some other symptoms include red eyes, skin rash, and hiccups in the late stage, and many common illnesses have the same symptoms as Ebola Virus Disease, such as influenza, malaria, or typhoid fever (CDC, 2021).

Some diagnostic methods include collecting blood samples, as Ebola virus can be detected in blood after symptoms appear, and it may take up to three days after symptoms start for the virus to reach detectable levels (CDC, 2021). Another method is Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is one of the most commonly used methods to diagnose the virus as it can detect low levels of Ebola virus (CDC, 2021). However, when the virus is no longer present in high numbers in a patient’s blood, this method becomes ineffective, and other methods, based on the detection of antibodies on EVD case produces to an infection, can then be used to confirm a patient’s exposure and infection to the virus (CDC, 2021).

While Ebola is a rare disease, it is often severe and deadly, and recovery from the disease depends on the patient’s immune response and quality of clinical care (CDC, 2021). Survivors of the infection have antibodies that can be detected in the blood up to 10 years after recovery, and it is thought that survivors have some protective immunity to the type of Ebola that infected them (CDC, 2021). Ebola survivors may experience side effects after they recover from the disease, such as tiredness, muscle aches, eye and vision problems and stomach pain (CDC, 2021).


Currently, there are two treatments that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Ebola Virus Disease caused by the Ebola virus, species Zaire ebolavirus, in adults and children (CDC, 2021). The first drug is Inmazeb™, which was approved in October 2020 (CDC, 2021). The second drug is Ebanga™, which was approved in December 2020 (CDC, 2021). Both of these treatments were evaluated in a randomized controlled trial during the 2018-2020 Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (CDC, 2021). Overall, the survival rate was much higher for patients that received either of the two treatments, however, neither Inmazeb™ nor Ebanga™ have been evaluated for their efficiency against other species of ebolavirus (CDC, 2021).

Basic interventions can also greatly improve chances of survival when it is provided early, and they include:

  • Providing fluids and electrolytes (body salts) orally or through infusion into the vein
  • Using medication to support blood pressure, reduce vomiting and diarrhea, and to manage fever and pain
  • Treating other infections, if they occur


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are a number of ways to protect yourself and prevent the spread of Ebola Virus Disease:

  • avoid contact with blood and body fluids (ex: urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat, breast milk, amniotic fluid, semen, and vaginal fluids) of people who are sick
  • Avoid contact with items that may have come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body fluids (ex: clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment)
  • Avoid funeral or burial services that include touching the body of someone who died from EVD or potentially EVD
  • Avoid contact with bats, forest antelopes, and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys and chimpanzees) blood, fluids, or raw meat prepared from these or unknown animals (ex: bushmeat)

Currently, the Ervebo vaccine has been shown to be effective in protecting people from the species Zaire ebolavirus, and in December 2020, the vaccine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and prequalified by the World Health Organization for use in individuals over the age of eighteen (except for pregnant and breastfeeding women) for protection caused by the Zaire ebolavirus (World Health Organization, 2021). In May 2020, the European Medicines Agency recommended granting marketing authorization for a 2-component vaccine called Zabdeno-and-Mvabea for people over the age of one (World Health Organization, 2021). The vaccine requires two doses, where Zabdeno is first administered while the second dose, Mvabea, is given approximately eight weeks later (World Health Organization, 2021). The 2-dose regimen is thus unsuitable for an outbreak where immediate protection and response is vital (World Health Organization, 2021).

Ebola virus can also survive on dry surfaces, such as doorknobs and countertops for several hours, and cleaning and disinfection should be performed with hospital-grade disinfectant (CDC, 2021).

Outbreak Preparation

Outbreaks in nonhuman primates and antelope often precede or happen at the same time as human cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the same or nearby areas (CDC, 2021). An example would include that in 1994, the chimpanzee population of the area where the Taï National Forest outbreak occurred decreased by half (CDC, 2021). Typically, cases of ebola in people emerge after the handling and butchering of these infected animals, and once the virus spreads to people, it quickly spreads from person to person (CDC, 2021). As such, rapid identification of cases in vital to prevent large-scale epidemics (CDC, 2021).

However, because the early symptoms of Ebola are not specific to this disease alone, it can be hard to distinguish it from other illnesses, such as malaria, influenza, leptospirosis, yellow fever, and other viruses spread by insects, or viral or bacterial infections of the intestines, such as typhoid fever (CDC, 2021). Once a case is identified, everyone who has come in direct contact with the sick patient is found—this practice is called contact tracing (CDC, 2021). The contacts are watched for symptoms of Ebola for 21 days from the last day they came in contact with the Ebola patient and if the contact develops a fever or other symptoms, they are isolated, tested, and provided care (CDC, 2021). The cycle starts again until all new contacts are found and observed for 21 days (CDC, 2021). The World Health Organization declares an Ebola outbreak over when two incubation period (42 days) have passed without any new cases (CDC, 2021).

Ebola in Tanzania

While there are no officially confirmed cases of Ebola in Tanzania, many countries nearby are battling Ebola outbreaks, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (World Health Organization, 2019; Marchione, 2021). Due to the possibility of cross-border spread and regional risk, it is highly important to remain vigilant to prevent the spread of the disease.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, March 18). Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease).

Marchione, M. (2021, March 31). Man’s Ebola relapse spawned dozens of new cases in Africa

World Health Organization. (2019, October 30). Cases of Undiagnosed Febrile Illness – United Republic of Tanzania

World Health Organization. (2021, February 23). Ebola virus disease