Kenyan TB Legal Environment Assessment Launched

KELIN launched the findings of a legal environment assessment (LEA) on tuberculosis (TB) conducted in Kenya. The assessment was based on the Stop TB Partnership’s Legal Environment Assessments for Tuberculosis: Guidance. KELIN’s assessment in Kenya, supported by USAID, is the first LEA conducted on TB globally based on this guidance. It aimed at identifying the legal, policy and human rights issues in TB.

The Assessment, conducted from March to August 2017, identified multiple protections that exist within the national legal framework, but also problematic laws and policies that present inadequate protection for people with TB. The Public Health Act, for instance, was found to be the most challenging due to its provisions which have previously been used to jail TB patients. The assessment also established that stigma surrounding TB still prevails in Kenya with poor dissemination of TB related information.

The methodology for the assessment included consultations with members of civil society and communities affected by TB, government representatives, development partners, service providers, and key populations, among others.

The official launch of the report, presented KELIN with an opportunity to not only disseminate the findings, recommendations and next steps of the assessment, but also engage key stakeholders in strategizing on an implementation plan. Communities of persons affected by TB, civil society organisations, development partners, government representatives, parliamentarians, among other TB champions were invited to the launch.

KELIN is excited to launch the findings of the legal environment assessment of tuberculosis. This is a first of its kind report in the world that critically examines laws, policies and practices affecting the TB response. The report will contribute in ensuring that human rights issues in TB prevention, management, care and support are addressed, in addition to building a body of evidence on TB and Human Rights. Moving forward, KELIN will engage stakeholders to ensure that recommendations of this assessment are implemented," said Allan Maleche, Executive Director of KELIN.

Stop TB Partnership congratulates KELIN on their work and look forward to upcoming launches of legal environment assessments from India, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ukraine. Viorel Soltan, Country and Community Support for Impact Team Leader emphasized, that ‘’if we are to end TB, we must remove the barriers for everybody, particularly people from vulnerable or marginalized communities, from accessing TB services. Legal environment assessments, and the implementation of the recommendations from these assessments, are a critical component in finding the missing people affected by TB and ensuring everyone gets access to the services they need.’’