The Crime of Being Sick

In Kenya, people lost to tuberculosis follow-up can face detention in ordinary prisons.

Treatment adherence is crucial to controlling TB, but Kenya and other high-burden countries lack sufficient isolation wards and resources. And while public health laws can be used to enforce isolation, adherence, and completion of TB treatment, the approach curtails human rights—and could “worsen social inequalities and lead to a paradoxical increase in TB incidence,” write the authors of a paper led by Gitau Mburu.

Instead, the authors urge health systems to reduce dependency on prisons by decentralizing TB treatment, enhancing education, revising public health laws and addressing the underlying inequalities in societies affected.

Their paper is included in a special issue of Harvard’s Health and Human Rights journal.
Health and Human Rights
 

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