23,471 Kenya children miss TB tests

By Gatonye Gathura

Tens of thousands of children with signs of TB are not been tested for the disease in public hospitals, leading to unnecessary illnesses and possible deaths.

A study led by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in 13 county referral hospitals found 23,471 children who had signs of TB had not been tested.

The study which had screened the records of 42,107 children says TB tests had not been requested for suspect patients despite the availability of diagnostic facilities.

Published on 4th September 2019 in the journal Plos One the study was carried out in a two-year period covering  November 2015 – October 2018.

The work also involved the University of Nairobi, the Kenya Clinical Information Network (CIN), University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Oxford University, UK.

The Clinical Information Network (CIN) involves health professionals from the 13 county referral hospitals including Vihiga, Kakamega, Mbagathi, Mama Lucy Kibaki, Machakos, Nyeri, Kisumu East, Embu, Kerugoya, Kitale, Busia, and Kiambu.

The authors say while more than half of all pediatric admissions had symptoms associated with TB and nearly two-thirds had more specific history documented,  only a few got tested.

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