The Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) is located along the Indian Ocean about 200 meters from the beach. This health facility is one of the oldest health institutions in Tanzania having been founded in 1895 by the German colonial government. At its inception, the hospital catered for German community and after 1 st World War the British Colonial government adopted a policy that concentrated on provision of medical services for the European communities. After independence in 1961, all the barriers from the colonial past were removed and the hospital was re-named the Ocean Road Hospital, catering for all races and operated as a maternity wing of the Muhimbili Medical Centre.
In 1980, a decision was made by the Ministry of Health to make Ocean Road Hospital the hub for cancer services, whereby the Radiotherapy Unit of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Dar es Salaam was shifted from Muhimbili Medical Centre to the Ocean Road Hospital to give room for expansion. During the period between 1980 to mid 1996, deliberate efforts were made to upgrade the Radiotherapy Unit to a comprehensive Cancer Institute.
In June 1996, by an Act No. 2 of Parliament, Ocean Road Hospital was made an independent autonomous institute directly under the Ministry of Health and its name changed to Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI). The Chairman of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Director are appointed by the President of the united Republic of Tanzania.The main source of funding is from the Government of Tanzania. The institute also receives assistance from International organizations such as IAEA, WHO, IARC, UICC, INCTR, US NCI, Open Society, IAHPC, ICAP Columbia University, University of Copenhagen etc.