Doha: As part of constant efforts to enhance the health sector in Somalia, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has begun operation of the Tuberculosis and Multi-Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Centre in Banaadir region, Mogadishu, in coordination with the Somali ministry of health, World Health Organisation, World Vision and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
The centre is the only TB treatment hub in the eastern, central and southern parts of the country, with another in Hargeisa, northern Somalia. Access to TB centres in neighbouring countries is largely limited.
By contributing to Mogadishu’s centre, QRCS seeks to reduce and control the morbidity and mortality caused by TB and MDR-TB by introducing and scaling up TB and MDR-TB intervention, diagnosis and management.
Lasting one year, the first phase of the project will cost about QR1.62m, co-funded by QRCS and World Vision. It targets treating 1,640 patients and protecting 30,000 patient close-contact families.
Activities done so far included full rehabilitation, equipment, and furnishing of the centre’s buildings, operation, establishment of a TB management team, promoting capacity-building for health personnel, patient support, operational research and medical and paramedical training.
After registering patients, samples were sent to the reference laboratory in Kampala, Uganda for tests for disease and diagnosis.
Under an agreement with the MOH National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP), 18 patients were sampled and results are expected within two weeks. Confirmed patients will undergo two-year treatment. More patients will be enrolled over the coming few weeks.