On 7 February 2018, the High Court in Nairobi mentioned Petition 329 of 2014 a landmark case that challenged the unconstitutional and unlawful incarceration of TB patients
The purpose of the mention was to confirm whether the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health has complied with the court orders made by Justice Mumbi Ngugi in the judgment delivered on 24 March 2016. In the , the court had directed the government to:
- Issue a circular clarifying that section 27 of the Public Health Act does not authorize confinement of persons suffering from infectious diseases in prison;
- Develop a policy on the involuntary confinement of persons with TB and other infectious diseases; and
- File an affidavit in court detailing the policy measures put in place on the involuntary confinement of persons with TB and other infectious diseases.
The state counsel representing the government informed the court that the orders of the court have been partially fulfilled. He explained that the government had issued a circular to health facilities, clarifying that the Public Health Act does not authorize confinement of TB patients in prisons. He also informed the court that the Ministry of Health, through the National TB, Leprosy and Lung Health Programme is in the last stages of developing the Isolation policy that is compliant with the Constitution and incorporates principles from the international guidance on the involuntary confinement of individuals with TB and other infectious diseases. He indicated that once the process was complete, the government would file the affidavit in court as ordered. He therefore requested the court for an additional three months to enable the government to fully comply with the orders of the court.
Justice Mativo has directed that the matter be mentioned on 14 May 2018 to confirm whether the Attorney General has filed the affidavit, detailing the policy measures the government has adopted, in relation to involuntary confinement of persons with TB and other infectious diseases.
To contribute to the discussion and for live updates follow KELIN on our social media platforms: Twitter: @KELINkenya using hashtag #TBIsNotACrime
See also: TB is not a crime video.
For more information contact:
Advocate for the Petitioners and Executive Director KELIN
Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV & AIDS (KELIN)
4th Floor, Somak Building, Mombasa Road Tel +254202515790;