Mbeya is a city located in southwest Tanzania. The total population of the Mbeya Region is 2,707,410 (census 2012) of which 52.1% were women and 47.9% were men, while population growth rate of 2.7%.

Mbeya is the first large urban settlement encountered when travelling overland from the neighbouring nation of Zambia. Mbeya is situated at an altitude of 1,700 meters (5,500 ft) and sprawls through a narrow highland valley surrounded by a bowl of high mountains. The region has 9 districts. The main language is Swahili, but English is extensively taught in school.


Mbeya is accessible by air, road and railway. At the moment Fast Jet is the only flight going to Mbeya, its reliable with two trips per day (morning and evening). There are more than 8 buses going to mbeya every day, leaving early in the morning. It takes almost 12 hours from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya which is 886km. By railway TAZARA (Tanzania and Zambia railway authority) is also going to Mbeya.


Mbeya is blessed with lots of tourist attractions and is also close to other attractions in the nearby region: Ngozi creator lake, Kitulo plateau, Mbeya peak and climb, Songwe Bat caves and Mbeya meteorite. There are also several waterfalls found in Mbeya (Kijungu waterfalls, Kiwira waterfalls and Kaporogwe waterfalls). It is also close to Ruaha National Park and Matema Beach lake Malawi (lake Nyasa).


The Mbeya Referral Hospital (MRH) is located in Mbeya Town with 477 bed facility that has been in operation since 1985. It is one of five zonal hospitals in Tanzania whose function in the Southern Highlands is to provide training, to coordinate and oversee the quality of treatment and to establish health service referral systems among four regions. It serves for a population of over six million people with an extensive infectious disease medicine clinic, in-patient services and a training facility with a referral level laboratory.

The hospital is owned and run by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) and adheres to the MOHSW policies and guidelines. Mbeya Referral Hospital has been at the forefront in treating people living with HIV since 2002 and has provided services to more than 10,000 patients.

It is comprised of three components:

  • The Main Hospital
  •  Meta Maternity Wing
  • Uyole mental Health Rehabilitation Unit

The Meta Maternity Wing is comprised of obstetrics and gynaecology, the reproductive health unit and the special baby care unit. The services delivered include obstetrics and gynaecology, reproductive health, neonatal care, laboratory operations, ultrasound & x-ray. There is also a special care baby unit that handles premature births as well as post natal complications in newborn babies.