MSF opens new TB Facilities in Middle Shabelle Region
On 5 June the medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opened new tuberculosis (TB) departments in two of its health centres in Middle Shabelle Region, Somalia. The departments will provide free, quality TB services, including testing, treatment and health education to the communities living in the surrounding areas of Mahaday and Gololey.
“TB is a huge public health problem in Somalia; it is responsible for around 5,500 deaths every year. People living in the rural areas of Middle Shabelle do not have access to TB treatment so MSF is opening these new facilities to address these vital needs.” says Monica Camacho, MSF Head of Mission for Somalia.
The new outpatient facilities will be the first of their kind to serve the communities in Mahaday and Gololey. In each location there are already a number of suspected TB cases. The new facilities will start testing and provide treatment for those people that have TB. Besides treatment, a network of Community Health Workers (CHW) will carry out community mobilization and health education on TB.
“Despite the challenges, MSF is committed to providing healthcare in Somalia. We’re very happy that we’re able to start these new activities in the Middle Shabelle region.” added Monica Camacho.
MSF provides basic health care through a network of four health centres in the rural and urban areas of Jowhar, Mahaday and Balcad. In 2009, 118,968 people received consultations and free medication and 26,542 women received ante and post-natal consultations at the OPD. More than 5,336 malnourished children were admitted to the therapeutic feeding centres for malnutrition treatment and management of related medical complications. A total of 1,666 babies were delivered. In July MSF teams tackled an outbreak of measles in Jowhar, treating over 1,000 people in camps for internally displaced persons in Jowhar itself and another 3,756 in Balcad, Warshiik and El Mahan. 62,132 children were vaccinated.
MSF in Somalia
MSF has worked in Somalia continuously since 1991 and today is present in eight regions: Banadir, Bay, Hiraan, Galgaduud, Middle Juba, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle and Mudug. MSF does not accept any government funding for its projects in Somalia, all its funding comes from private donors.