Swahili Terms in Hospitals: Easy Swahili Medical Terminologies

October 25, 2023 No Comments
Swahili Terms in Hospitals

Effective communication is important in healthcare, and understanding and using essential medical terminologies in Swahili can bridge gaps and enhance patient care. In this blog, we explore the Swahili terms in hospitals and how they help healthcare providers and patients navigate the healthcare landscape more smoothly. 

From terms related to ailments, symptoms, and treatments to the tools and devices used in medical care, we’ll provide insights and examples to empower individuals to communicate effectively and access healthcare services with ease. 

Pain (Maumivu)

“maumivu” refers to the sensation of physical or emotional discomfort or distress that a patient may be experiencing. It is a common term healthcare professionals use to assess and address a patient’s acute or chronic pain level. Pain management is a crucial aspect of healthcare in providing the appropriate treatment and relief.

Example in a sentence

“Mgonjwa anahisi maumivu makali kwenye mgongo wake,” 

“The patient is experiencing severe pain in their back.”

Swahili Terms in Hospitals: Bandage (Bendeji)

“Bendeji” is a term used to describe the medical dressing applied to a wound or injury. It helps in protection, support, or to control bleeding. In a hospital or clinical setting, it’s a fundamental tool in wound care and first aid, utilized to keep wounds clean, facilitate healing, and prevent infection. Medical professionals rely on “bendeji” to secure gauze, dressings, or splints, and it plays a crucial role in the healing process.

Example in a sentence

“Baada ya kufanyiwa upasuaji, daktari alifunga bendeji vizuri juu ya jeraha,” 

“After the surgery, the doctor carefully wrapped a bandage over the wound.” 

Nurse (Muuguzi)

Swahili Terms in Hospitals

“Muuguzi” is the Swahili term for a nurse. In a hospital or clinical setting, a nurse plays a pivotal role in patient care, from administering medications and monitoring vital signs to providing comfort and education. They act as a bridge between doctors and patients, ensuring that patients receive comprehensive care and support throughout their hospital stay. “Muuguzi” is a term synonymous with compassion, empathy, and professionalism in healthcare.

Example in a sentence

“Muuguzi alimshauri mgonjwa juu ya jinsi ya kudhibiti shinikizo la damu,”

“The nurse advised the patient on how to manage their blood pressure.”

Swahili Terms in Hospitals: Patient (Mgonjwa)

“Mgonjwa” simply means “patient” in Swahili. In a hospital setting, it refers to an individual who is receiving medical attention, diagnosis, or treatment. “Mgonjwa” is at the heart of the healthcare system, and their well-being is the primary concern of healthcare professionals. It encompasses anyone seeking medical care, from those with acute illnesses to individuals undergoing routine check-ups.

Example in a sentence

“Mgonjwa alifika hospitalini na malalamiko ya maumivu ya kifua,” 

“The patient came to the hospital with complaints of chest pain.” 

Blood test (Kupima Damu)

“Kupima damu” refers to a blood test, a diagnostic procedure that involves the analysis of a patient’s blood to assess various aspects of their health, such as blood cell counts, cholesterol levels, or the presence of specific diseases. It’s a crucial tool in diagnosing and monitoring medical conditions, and it helps healthcare providers make informed decisions about a patient’s care.

Example in a sentence 

“Daktari aliamuru kupima damu ili kuchunguza viwango vya sukari katika mwili,” “The doctor ordered a blood test to examine the sugar levels in the body.” 

Swahili Terms in Hospitals: Thermometer (Kipimajoto)

Swahili Terms in Hospitals

“Kipimajoto” is a thermometer used to measure body temperature. In a hospital setting, it’s vital for assessing a patient’s health, especially during fever evaluations or as a routine part of patient monitoring. Accuracy in temperature measurement is crucial for diagnosis and treatment decisions.

Example in a sentence

“Muuguzi alitumia kipimajoto kuchukua joto la mgonjwa na kuamua kipimo cha dawa kinachohitajika,” 

“The nurse used a thermometer to take the patient’s temperature and determine the necessary medication dosage.” 

Swahili Terms in Hospitals: Accident (Ajali)

“Ajali” is a term used to describe an accident or unexpected event that results in harm, injury, or damage. In a hospital setting, “ajali” may refer to a patient’s reason for seeking medical care, such as a car accident, a fall, or another unfortunate incident. Understanding the circumstances of the “ajali” is essential for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Example in a sentence 

“Mgonjwa alileta mtoto wake baada ya kujeruhiwa katika ajali ya baiskeli,” 

“The patient brought their child after they were injured in a bicycle accident.” 

Anaesthetic (Dawa ya ganzi)

“Dawa ya ganzi” refers to anesthesia, a medical practice involving the administration of drugs to induce a loss of sensation in a patient’s body or a specific body part. This is done to perform surgical procedures or medical interventions without the patient feeling pain or discomfort. Anesthesia is a critical element of modern medicine, ensuring that patients can undergo various medical treatments without experiencing undue suffering or distress.

Example in a sentence

“Kabla ya kuanza upasuaji, daktari alimpa mgonjwa dawa ya ganzi ili asihisi maumivu wakati wa operesheni,”

“Before commencing the surgery, the doctor administered anesthesia to the patient so they wouldn’t feel pain during the operation.”

Swahili Terms in Hospitals: Blind (Kipofu)

“Kipofu” translates to “blind” in Swahili, describing the condition of lacking visual perception or experiencing severe visual impairment. In a medical context, it’s essential to use sensitivity and care when discussing visual impairments with patients, ensuring they receive the support and accommodations they need for their healthcare.

Example in a sentence 

“Kipofu huyu anahitaji msaada wa kila siku katika huduma za afya ili kuweza kujitegemea,”

“This blind individual requires daily healthcare assistance to maintain their independence.”

Cough (Kikohozi)

“Kikohozi” refers to the act of coughing, which is the body’s natural response to clear the airways or throat of irritants. In a medical context, coughs can be symptomatic of various underlying health issues, and healthcare professionals may inquire about the nature and duration of a patient’s “kikohozi” to aid in diagnosis and treatment.

Example in a sentence

“Mgonjwa alisumbuliwa na kikohozi kikali kwa wiki moja, na hii ilikuwa dalili ya maambukizo ya mapafu,”

“The patient had a severe cough for a week, which was a symptom of a lung infection.”

Swahili Terms in Hospitals: Crutch (Mkongojo)

“Mkongojo” refers to a crutch, which is a mobility aid used by individuals who have difficulty walking due to injury or disability. In a healthcare context, healthcare professionals may assess a patient’s need for “mkongojo” and provide guidance on proper use and adjustments to ensure safe mobility.

Example in a sentence

“Daktari alimshauri mgonjwa kutumia mkongojo kusaidia katika uponyaji wa mguu wake uliovunjika,” 

“The doctor advised the patient to use a crutch to assist in the healing of their broken leg.”

Stretcher (Machela)

“Machela” is a stretcher, a medical device used for transporting patients who are unable to walk or need to be moved in a lying position. In a hospital or emergency setting, “machela” is crucial for transferring patients safely, particularly in cases of severe injury or medical emergencies.

Example in a sentence 

“Baada ya ajali mbaya, wahudumu wa afya walimweka mgonjwa kwenye machela kwa usalama kabla ya kumpeleka hospitalini,” 

“After a severe accident, healthcare providers placed the patient on a stretcher for safety before transporting them to the hospital.”

Swahili Terms in Hospitals: Cure (Tiba)

“Tiba” signifies a cure or the medical treatment employed to alleviate or eliminate a disease or health condition. In the realm of healthcare, the search for effective “tiba” is a core focus, with healthcare professionals continually researching and developing therapies to enhance patient outcomes.

Example in a sentence 

“Daktari aligundua tiba ya ugonjwa huo na mgonjwa akapona kabisa baada ya matibabu ya mwezi mmoja,” 

“The doctor identified a cure for the illness, and the patient made a full recovery after a month of treatment.”

Dentist (Daktari wa meno)

Swahili Terms in Hospitals

Daktari wa meno” is a dentist, a healthcare professional specializing in oral health. “Daktari wa meno” provides preventive care, diagnoses dental issues, and offers various treatments to maintain and restore the health of the teeth and gums.

Example in a sentence

“Kutembelea daktari wa meno kila sita kwa miezi sita ni muhimu kwa afya ya meno na kuzuia matatizo ya kibadilisha meno,” 

“Visiting the dentist every six months is essential for dental health and preventing tooth-related issues.”

Swahili Terms in Hospitals: Fracture (Kuvunjika)

“Kuvunjika” refers to a fracture, the medical term for a broken bone. Healthcare professionals use this term when diagnosing and treating patients with bone injuries. “Kuvunjika” can range from minor fractures to more severe breaks, and the treatment plan varies accordingly.

Example in a sentence 

“Mgonjwa alipata kuvunjika cha mfupa wa mkono katika ajali ya gari na alihitaji upasuaji wa dharura kurekebisha uharibifu,”

“The patient suffered a fracture of the arm bone in a car accident and required emergency surgery to repair the damage.”

Swahili Terms in Hospitals: Lesion (Kidonda)

“Kidonda” refers to a lesion, which is an abnormal area of damaged tissue. Lesions can result from various causes, such as injury, infection, or disease, and healthcare professionals use this term when diagnosing and discussing the presence of abnormal tissue.

Example in a sentence

“Daktari alifanya uchunguzi wa kidonda na alithibitisha kuwa halina dalili za kansa,” 

“The doctor examined the lesion and confirmed that it showed no signs of cancer.”


In conclusion, this article on Swahili terms in hospitals has shed light on the fundamental medical vocabulary in Swahili, empowering healthcare providers and patients to communicate effectively. Understanding these terms not only enhances the quality of healthcare but also promotes cultural inclusivity and sensitivity. 

As we conclude our journey, we emphasize the importance of language in healthcare, transcending barriers and ensuring everyone has access to the care they deserve. This linguistic empowerment fosters a healthier and more connected world.

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I'm an elementary school teacher who loves what she does! I enjoy creating resources in my Native language "kiswahili". My goal is to spread the beautiful language of "Kiswahili" inside and outside the classroom. Thanks for stopping by! Read More

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