State Sued for Jailing Three Tuberculosis Patients

An NGO has sued the government for jailing three patients who defaulted in taking tuberculosis medication. Kelin wants the High Court to declare that remanding the patients violates their rights.

Daniel Ngetich, Henry Ngetich and Patrick Kirui were arrested on August 12, 2010, for discontinuing their TB treatment.

They were initially remanded in police cells with other suspects but later, Daniel and Henry were charged before a magistrate’s court in Kapsabet. Kirui was not immediately taken to court because he was sick and had to be rushed to Kapsabet County Hospital. Daniel and Henry were released after serving two months, following civil society organisations’ intervention.

The court has also been asked to declare that prison facilities cannot be used for confining patients with infectious diseases.

The NGO wants an order directing the government to notify all medical facilities in 14 days that the law does not allow jailing of people suffering from infectious diseases. The NGO also wants compensation for the patients. Yesterday, judge Mumbi Ngugi directed the state to respond by July 29.