Ministry launches TB Isolation Policy to prevent spread of TB.

Head of Preventive and Promotive Health,Dr. Peter Cherutich during the TB Isolation Policy advocacy and dissemination meeting

Head of Preventive and Promotive Health,Dr. Peter Cherutich issues the TB Isolation Policy to a stakeholder













Nairobi, KENYA 26 June 2018 – The Ministry of Health, National Tuberculosis (TB) Program with partners has developed a Tuberculosis (TB) Isolation Policy.

The policy outlines the procedures to be followed in isolation and admission of TB patients who interrupt TB treatment and refusing to take anti-TB medicine.

According to the Head of Preventive and Promotive Health, Dr. Peter Cherutich the policy will facilitate advocacy activities for realization of better facilities for isolation of TB patient who interrupt anti TB medication or those who cannot be treated in community based model due to their infectious nature.

Speaking during the advocacy and dissemination of the TB isolation policy stakeholders meeting Dr. Cherutich noted that TB remains a public health concern globally and nationally, affecting nearly 10.4 million people globally and causing nearly one-and-a-half million deaths each year.

Dr. Cherutich noted that in 2017 Kenya reported and treated 85,188 TB patients, among them 7,771 children, making Kenya one of the countries with the highest burden of the disease.

He revealed that a recent national TB prevalence survey indicates that each year, about 40% of the TB cases in the country go undetected and untreated. “This showed that we have more TB cases than what is estimated, and that most of the affected population groups are young people particularly men and the elderly,” he noted.

He disclosed that the number of Drug resistant TB has been on the increase over the years due to poor adherence to first line anti TB treatment, patients interrupting treatment and health care worker knowledge gap.

He noted that implementation of TB infection Prevention and Control measures and treatment of those with active TB of the lungs is key in preventing the spread of the TB bacilli.

Previously, TB patients who refused to take medication by the order of the magistrates were being confined in prison while undertaking their treatment. However, in 2016 the High Court annulled the detention in prisons of patients who default on anti-TB medication hence the Ministry of Health issued a circular and developed the TB Isolation policy that stipulates that TB patients can only be confined in health facilities.

Dr. Cherutich said that the policy will enable promotion of human rights, protecting the dignity of the patient and also protecting the public from the infectious disease.

He urged county government to adopt the TB isolation policy and start advocating for resources to construct and equip isolation facilities for TB and other infectious diseases in their respective counties.

He also called upon the development partners, players in TB prevention and the public in general to continue their support towards TB elimination.