NAIROBI - 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 programme is equipped to diagnose and treat such patients.
In October 2011, an HIV-positive Nairobi woman was diagnosed with XDR-TB while receiving her treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital for multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). Treatment was provided by the hospital; however, she was prescribed three additional medicines that she had to buy herself, to supplement the regimen.
According to Allan Maleche, coordinator of the Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS, KELIN, following a public outcry over the handling of the patient's case, the government has stepped in to pay for all her medication. But Maleche warned that more still had to be done.
“The government needs to have a policy that outlines clearly how it will deal with cases of XDR-TB because at the moment that is missing. The government must also invest in the treatment and care of XDR-TB patients in Kenya," he told IRIN/PlusNews...
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