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Muslim Aid Tuberculosis program: Saving Lives in Somalia

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease which can affect all parts of human body especially, the lungs. The disease can be transmitted from one person to another by coughing or sneezing. Tuberculosis condition can get worse by social factors such as poverty, famine, war and poor living conditions. It can be cured with proper treatment which includes either vaccination or a course of antibiotic.

The public health of Somalia deteriorated rapidly because of ongoing war and civil unrest after 1990 and the recent drought in the Horn of Africa. TB still persists in Somalia and is the main cause for morbidity and mortality.

It is also a great obstacle to stability and economic development of Somalia. It is estimated that 12,000 people die due to TB each year in Somalia. To fight against this long-standing complex disease, Muslim Aid has established 11 TB clinics across Somalia. The TB programs runs in Lower Juba, Gedo, Hudur, Lower Shabelle, Banadir, Hiran, Nugal and Sanag regions in south, central and Puntland areas of Somalia.

The charity aims to decrease the burden of TB in Somalia with emphasis on accessibility, affordability, quality, equity, sustainability and patient satisfaction in line with the Millenium Development Goals and the global Stop TB Partnership targets. The programme targets people suffering from TB (including multi drug resistant TB (MDR TB) patients); their healthy contacts, including families, neighbours and internally displaced persons. In 2012, Muslim Aid successfully treated 1147 patients out of which 722 were male and 425 were female.

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