Open Access Research article

Immigrants and health system challenges to TB control in Oman

Abdullah Al-Maniri12*, Grethe Fochsen3, Omar Al-Rawas1 and Ayesha De Costa2

Author Affiliations

1 College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

2 Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Global Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

3 SIDA, Stockholm, Sweden

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BMC Health Services Research 2010, 10:210  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-210

Published: 16 July 2010



During the past three decades, Oman has made significant progress in controlling TB within it's borders. However, the national TB control program elimination target has yet to be reached. This study aims to explore the perceived roles played by the immigrant population and the private health sector in relation to TB control in Oman.


We conducted seventeen interviews with different health care providers. The verbatim transcripts were processed using content analysis.


Three main themes emerged. Firstly the threat of repatriation faced by underprivileged expatriates, secondly the criticized and forgotten private health sector as a key player and thirdly the user and provider barriers faced by Omani patients in the Omani public health system.


The study has identified some of the challenges and barriers to TB control in Oman. These challenges are mainly related to unintended negative consequences arising from the current repatriation policy of immigrants and to and the lack of involvement of the private sector in TB control. TB control strategies designed to address these challenges are needed, for Oman to reach its TB elimination targets.