Kenya’s Ability To Diagnose, Treat MDR-TB Questioned After Mismanagement Of Patient’s Case

“The Kenyan government’s recent failure to adequately treat a patient with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) has some civil society organizations questioning whether the country’s TB program is equipped to diagnose and treat such patients,” PlusNews reports. “The government admits the TB program in Kenya has not been adequately funded despite the country’s big TB burden,” PlusNews writes, adding, “Kenya ranks 13th on the list of 22 high-burden TB countries in the world and has the fifth-highest burden in Africa.”

“The resources that are available … cannot cope with the burden of the disease as it is today,” Joseph Sitienei, director of the National Leprosy and TB Control Programme, told PlusNews, the news service writes. “Another major challenge is that TB patients either report late to health facilities for diagnosis or default on their treatment, increasing their chances of developing drug-resistant TB,” the news service adds. “There are more than 500 known cases of [multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB)] in Kenya, and only 230 of these are on treatment, but activists warn that more cases could be going undetected,” PlusNews notes (2/28).