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TB and Homeless refugees in an Eastern European country

Nargiz Shamilova, MD, MPH, Mercy Corps, Azerbaijan, 4, Magomayev street, Icheri Sheher, Baku, AZ 1000, Azerbaijan, (994-50) 399-2291, nargiz@mercycorps.az

Refugee populations are one of the major driving forces in emerging infections worldwide. Along with HIV/AIDS, poverty, malnutrition and other factors, the resurgence of tuberculosis (TB) at the end of the last century was accelerated by migration and civil disruption. Homelessness and civil unrest resulting from social upheaval following the dissolution of the Soviet Union not only hampered TB control but also contributed to its tremendous increase throughout the countries of the Newly Independent States including Azerbaijan. According to the WHO, the numbers of TB cases registered in Azerbaijan in the last decade (1991-2001) increased two fold and about half of there were among the homeless refugee population. There are two groups of refugees (cities and rural settlements and camps) who are living under different conditions. Using secondary data and a random sample from the three groups, data was collected for the study. This study analyzed the different rates of tuberculosis amongst the two groups of refugees and the general population; evaluated the factors responsible for these differing rates; and evaluated and compared prevention, treatment and access to health care in the three populations. Study results will be presented.

Learning Objectives: Objectives