A court has ordered that a 29-year-old man be detained for 20 months at Kericho County Referral Hospital for failing to take TB medicine.
Kericho Chief Magistrate Samuel Mokua ordered that on the expiry of the period, during which he will be put on medication, a health test be conducted on Charles Abuga Mwambi and deposited in court.
“Upon considering the supporting affidavit and the requirement of the Public Health Act Cap 242 Laws of Kenya, the court orders that the accused be detained for a period of 20 months,” said the Chief magistrate.
In his sworn affidavit, Kericho County Health Officer George Goldie Kauma stated that the accused, a resident of Nyagacho estate within Kericho township, was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis on February 8, 2016 but defaulted on treatment on September 20 the same year.
“Though he reappeared at the hospital on March 17 this year and the Genexpert test done on him turned negative and the continuation of treatment ensured, the accused defaulted for the second time on April 4 as per the registration No. 117/223/01/2017,” said Mr Kauma.
The County Health Officer added Mr Mwambi’s last appearance at the hospital in July 17, and the subsequent Genexpert test done on him revealed positive response for multi-drug resistance (MDR) strain of TB.
“That in compliance with the Public Health Act Chapter 242 Section 27 as read with section 28 (a) (b) (c) and 34 do hereby state that the said patient has wilfully defaulted on treatment which is offered for free through the taxpayer by the Government and now is at critical point of multi-drug Resistance for Rifampicin (most important drug for first line TB treatment) which is a risk to the public,” Kauma said.
Mwambi’s detention comes at a time when operations in public hospitals across the country are hampered by the ongoing nurses’ strike.
On Tuesday, Kenya National Union of Nurses Kericho branch Secretary General Geoffrey Tarus called on the national government and the Council of Governors to move with speed and end the stalemate.