From civil servant to business owner – Access to finance empowers local doctor

Photo of Wambura's facility in Tanzania
Wambura's facility is located in Bagamoyo District, which is in the coastal region of Tanzania, approximately 60 kilometers from the capital, Dar es Salaam. | Credit: SHOPS Plus

When Dr. Chacha Wambura registered his new health facility in Tanzania as a private for-profit dispensary in 2009, he had no idea that it would become the leading private health facility in his district, Bagamoyo.

Wambura’s business venture emerged from a tragedy in his household, and with a courageous career choice, he started his business and is now working with SHOPS Plus and a local bank to expand it. 

In 2006, while Wambura was still in medical school, his wife passed away unexpectedly, leaving him with children to raise while he completed his medical degree. Despite the challenges, the young doctor found work at a local hospital in his district as a medical practitioner and civil servant. While working at the hospital, Wambura heard that the hospital wanted to relocate him to another district. With his children in school and his home in Bagamayo, he decided to leave his position and establish a dispensary in order to stay in his district and continue to provide health services to his community.

Wambura opened the Chacha Wambura Health Centre in 2009. It was a success, and in less than a year, the center grew significantly, accepting new patients and offering more services, such as HIV and maternal and child health. With the increased patient flow, the practice needed more space, so Wambura initiated a project to double the size of the center. The only obstacle he faced was accessing the credit required to make his plan a reality. That is when he approached CRDB Bank Plc and inquired about financing the expansion of his facility.

CRDB is a USAID partner working with the Development Credit Authority (DCA), a credit guarantee program that aims to incentivize financial institutions to lend to a specific sector, in this case private health care providers. SHOPS Plus provides banks like CRDB with training and technical assistance in order to implement the program, and works with private providers like Wambura to strengthen their management and business skills so that they are better positioned to access the loans. With support from the project, Wambura received a loan from the bank and expanded his facility, using some of the funds to purchase a hematology analyzer and install a lab. With the expansion of space and services, the dispensary is now a full-service health center. 

The health center is now negotiating a second loan with the bank. After successfully repaying the first, CRDB is optimistic that the facility’s request will be approved. SHOPS Plus will continue to work with Wambura and the center in preparing the documentation required by the bank for the second loan. With backing from CRDB and SHOPS Plus, he is emerging as a leading private health facility in Bagamoyo District.

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Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus is a five-year cooperative agreement (AID-OAA-A-15-00067) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This website is made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. government information and does not represent the views or positions of USAID or the U.S. government.