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TB patients develop drugs resistance

By | January 26th 2012


Kenya is experiencing increased cases of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR TB) and patients and medics are now calling for urgent remedy.

At a research workshop in Kisumu, it was revealed that this was as a result of TB patients not taking required medicines as prescribed or they stopped taking the drugs.

Dr Joseph Sitienei, Head of Leprosy, TB and Lung Diseases Division said about ten patients are diagnosed with the disease nationally every month, which he said was too much for a country like Kenya.

"This is too much for Kenya. We are seeing an increase since the previous years it was not reaching this," he said.

MDR TB occurs after failure by patients to take drugs accordingly, leading to resistance hence refusing to respond to the standard treatments using first-line drugs. He said currently, there are about 390 patients who have been diagnosed with the strain and are on treatment.


TB is an airborne infectious disease caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis, which attacks the lungs and can also damage other parts of the body.

The workshop was told that the country has diagnosed slightly more than 500 MDR TB patients out of whom a cumulative number of 390 have been traced and put on treatment.

"Out of the figure, 40 patients hail from Nyanza Province and are being managed for the disease," he said.

He said the laboratory at the Kemri/CDC at Kisian in Kisumu would be utilised to provide medical services to the patients in Western Kenya.

"With this laboratory in Kisian, the entire Western region will be able to access culture and DST services and more are in the pipeline with the assistance of the World Bank," he added. He said the programme would also take care of leprosy and lung disease.

"We want to be true to our vision and ensure we render services as required to patients with such other cases," said Dr Sitienei.

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