Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious bacterial disease, which most commonly affects the lungs.

Every year, around 9 million people fall sick with TB around the world. Despite it being a preventable and curable disease, many face death as a result of low access to quality health care.

TB is one of the most common communicable diseases in the Somali horn region. The latest estimated incidence is extremely high, at 224 per 100,000 population (WHO Global TB Report 2007).

The long-standing history of natural disasters, such as droughts and floods has negatively affected the spread of TB making it a public health emergency. Poor nutrition due to high levels of poverty, living in crowded family homesteads, the abundance of dust and smoke, weak health systems and poor access to health care have all contributed to the increasing prevalence of TB.

Due to this, in August 2016, SHiFAT, in collaboration with the Somaliland Ministry of Health’s National TB Program (NTP), funded by The Global Fund through World Vision, launched a TB Program in Somaliland. SHiFAT will be managing and delivering treatments via 5 TB Centres in 5 rural villages located in:

  • Duruqsi, Toghdeer
  • Widhwidh, Sool
  • Gudmo Biyo Cas, Sanaag
  • Lafta Farawayne, Marodijeex
  • Ceel Gaal, Awdal

SHiFAT is strengthening health systems through community based, capacity building techniques.  One of these techniques is providing quality training to staff, an essential part of SHiFAT’s programme implementation strategy. Therefore, 35 qualified staff throughout the 5 centres will be trained by the World Health Organization (WHO) after construction is complete.

The goal of the Program is to decrease the burden of TB in Somaliland with emphasis on accessibility, affordability, quality, equity, sustainability and patient satisfaction. The objectives of this program are in line with the Millennium Development Goals and the global Stop TB Partnership targets. The Program targets Somalis suffering from all forms of TB, their contacts (family, neighbors, health staff), internally displaced persons, and military personnel.

There are three main objectives intended to help achieve our goal of decreasing the burden of TB:

  • To detect at least 65% of estimated TB cases (all forms) and maintain treatment
  • success rate above 85% by 2017 and beyond by pursuing, optimizing and sustaining
  • high quality DOTS
  • To Strengthen Multi Drug Resistant TB (MDR TB) Services and TB/HIV collaborative
  • interventions.
  • To Strengthen National TB Program (NTP) management capacity

SHiFAT hopes to achieve the goal of these objectives by providing support to human resources, infrastructure and equipment, training/planning, procurement and distribution of anti-TB drugs, and the implementation of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system.