Two patients detained for refusing TB drugs, says Health CS Macharia

Two tuberculosis patients imprisoned for refusing to take their medication five years ago were detained for putting their families and the public at risk of infection, Health Cabinet Minister James Macharia told a court yesterday.

Mr Macharia told High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi that the Nandi Central District TB defaulter tracing co-ordinator, examined Daniel Ngetich (45) and Patrick Kipng'etich Kirui (38) and put them on TB medication.

Ngetich and Kirui have filed a suit alongside the Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and Aids (KELIN), aggrieved by the move to arrest and detain them for 46 days in 2010.

But the CS said Ngetich and Kirui were educated on treatment options and the dangerous nature of the disease but chose to ignore the guidelines on treatment by refusing to take medication.

Kelin is seeking to challenge the widespread practice adopted by the Public Health Office to confine TB patients for purposes of treatment. Hearing continues on November 2.