Djibouti Archives - BE Health
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Djibouti

BE Health’s new programme coordinator in Djibouti

After having been an energetic and skilled peer educator in Djibouti’s quarters for the past 18 months, Lydia was appointed BE Health’s workplace coordinator at Djibouti Palace Kempinski. Since September, she coordinates her colleagues’ peer education activities at their workplace and in their neighbourhoods. Lydia wants to make a difference. Armed with health knowledge and communication skills, she and her team of 14 peer educators will continue to promote health-enhancing knowledge about TB and HIV in Djibouti’s quarters and encourage family members of TB patients to get screened. They will also continue to bring TB patients who withdrew from their medical treatment back to medication.

Abdullah is back to his TB medical treatment

It is in the Ambouli neighbourhood’s Community Health Centre in Djibouti where our peer educators Lydia, Fouad and Mohamed enquired about the list of TB patients who dropped out of their six-month medical treatment. They know it is vital for Djibouti’s population to get these patients back to proper medication to avoid the spread of TB. Abdullah was on the “lost TB patients” list and they decided to go to see him because he withdrew from his medication a few weeks previously.

They found a trembling young man with no strength left and who was coughing a lot. Abdullah lives in a small airless house without windows, which he shares with his parents and five other family members. He wouldn’t listen to his parents, who begged him to take up his treatment again. He ignored their cries, too weak to act in response. Lydia, though, knew what to do. Even though it took her some time and all her persuasion powers, she made him believe that not only he was a real danger to himself, but also that his illness was a threat to his whole family. He eventually followed Fouad to take a taxi to the hospital so that he could be re-examined and take up his medical treatment. Today, Abdullah still has a few months’ treatment to go but is on his way to being cured.

Visit of UNAIDS’ Executive Director, Mr Michel Sidibé

On 11 October, BE Health’s peer educators in Djibouti had the chance to introduce themselves and their activities to ​Mr Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS’ Executive Director, as well as to ​Dr​ ​Yamina ​Cha​kkar​ UNAIDS’ regional director and Dr Dado Sy, UNAIDS’ representative in Djibouti. Mr Sidibé inspired BE Health’s entire team by sharing his long experience in how to best convey messages to prevent HIV from spreading in their communities. There is still a long way to go to stop the transmission of HIV in Djibouti. ​Mr Sidibé’s encouragement was therefore highly appreciated.

“BE Health is the kind of  public-private partnership that can inspire change and transform the lives of people affected by HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases. We can all play a part in creating a healthier world.”

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Djibouti programme Up to Full Speed

With an estimation of more than 200 new tuberculosis cases every week, Djibouti’s citizens are almost used to living with the disease. Tuberculosis is part of their daily life and even called dahán (cough) amongst the Somali-speaking citizens. Most of the time, Djiboutians do not know what it implies to be infected by tuberculosis nor are they aware of its symptoms or the consequences of not completing a TB treatment course.
BE Health’s 22 peer educators in Djibouti reach out to colleagues at their workplace, family at home and their fellow community members to raise awareness about tuberculosis and HIV. Together, they connect with more than 300 people each month to pass on their knowledge and save TB patients who didn’t complete their six-month TB treatment course.
In collaboration with Djibouti’s Dr. Chakib Saad Omar tuberculosis hospital, BE Health’s peer educators will be instrumental in a locally designed programme to encourage patients to resume their medication.

Photo by Miriam Martinelli

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