Syrian Arab Republic | News | The only tuberculosis control centre in Aleppo is up and running again

The only tuberculosis control centre in Aleppo is up and running again

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1-The_Director_of_Health_in_Aleppo_explaining_to_the_WHOs_Representativ_The Director of Health in Aleppo explaining to the WHO's Representative in Syria the successful rehabilitation process of the Centre26 September 2018, Syria – The only tuberculosis (TB) control centre in Aleppo governorate is ready to open its doors again. Damages sustained during the conflict in 2016 forced the centre to close, leaving more than one thousand tuberculosis patients without access to life-saving treatment. Extensive renovations, made possible by a generous donation from the Government of Japan, have allowed the centre to reopen its doors to TB patients in Aleppo and other parts of northern Syria.

The rehabilitation of the TB control centre in Aleppo is timely. Rates of tuberculosis in Syria are increasing, and recent figures show that one third of all TB cases in the country are found in the Aleppo governorate. Lack of access to health care services, poverty and severe overcrowding create conditions ripe for the spread of the disease. 

2-Before-and-after_photos_of_the_TB_center_ravaged_by_war_in_Aleppo_and__Before-and-after photos of the TB centre ravaged by war in Aleppo and how it becomes after rehabilitationTB remains the world’s deadliest infectious diseases as it can be transmitted from one person to another by air. Staff who work in these centres are therefore at a higher risk of becoming infected with TB. The centre in Aleppo has been designed with this in mind. It includes isolation units and specialized ventilation systems to help safeguard health care workers against TB.

“Fortunately, TB can be cured with timely and appropriate treatment,” said Dr Walid Sankari, a pulmonologist and professor at the University of Aleppo. “In Syria, we have been fighting TB through vaccination efforts, the expansion of TB control centres, and close cooperation between central and local health authorities. New drug-resistant strains of TB have emerged but treatments for these strains are being developed. Overall, TB remains a curable disease.” 

3-The_main_hall_of_the_rehabilitated_TB_center_in_Aleppo_governorate_The main hall of the rehabilitated TB centre in Aleppo governorateThanks to the contribution from the Government of Japan, patients will now have access to free treatment at a single dedicated facility that will provide a full range of services from diagnosis to treatment and follow up. 

Ms Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative in Syria, welcomed Japan’s contribution which greatly enhances Syria’s national tuberculosis control efforts. “Japan’s contribution is timely given the seriousness of this disease and the severe shortages of specialized TB treatment facilities throughout the country. We will continue to support national efforts to combat this deadly disease through training of health staff and delivering equipment and medicines to health care facilities that treat TB.” 

Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s)

22 712

Total health expenditure (% of general government expenditure)

4.8

Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births)

68

Primary health care centres and units (per 10 000 population)

0.9

Total life expectancy at birth (years)

64.5

Source: Country statistical profiles 2017

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Regional Health Observatory