Lawyer Allan Maleche (center),together with civil rights activist for T.B victims, Daniel Ngetich,Patrick Kipngetich and Henry Ngetich,outside Milimani law courts after he filed a case challenging the government over detention and imprisonment of the three over absconding taking T.B medication and their compensation over the imprisonment on Wednesday 22 July, 2015 .
BY SAM ALFN.
Two men jailed in 2010 for two months for having defaulted on their prescribed medical treatment for TB now wants to be compensated for the physical suffering occasioned by the unlawful imprisonment.
Daniel Ng’etich and Patrick Kipng’etich Kirui also want the government declare their confinement at Kapsabet GK Prison as a violation of their rights.
The two were arrested on August 12, 2010 for having severally defaulted on their prescribed medical treatment for TB and remanded in the police cells before being arraigned in court.
They pleaded guilty and the Magistrate who was proceeding over the case ordered that they be confined in prison cells for eight months. However the two were released after serving two months following interventions from civil society organizations.
Through their Lawyer Allan Chesa Maleche,the Executive Director for Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV/AIDS(KELIN),the two seeks to challenge the widespread of practice adopted by Public Health officers in seeking to confine TB Patients in prison for purposes of treatment.
Their Lawyer Chesa Maleche argued that the Prison Act does not provide for isolation facilities for TB Patients and holding TB Patients in prison not only put a risk to the other prisoners but to the prison wardens and their family members.
“The two were held in prison facility in spite of the fact that our Kenyan prisons are overcrowded and poorly ventilated making it a conducive condition for the spread of TB,” he said.
The two want the court to declare section 27 of the Public Health Act; does not give the Public Health Officer the discretion to apply for confinement of patients with infectious diseases in prison facilities.
They also want the Health Cabinet Secretary to issue a circular to all public and private medical facilities and public health officers clarifying that the contemplated place for isolation is not prison facility.
They also want the court to compel the Cabinet Secretary in Charge of Health to adopt the World Health Organization guidance on Human Rights and Involuntary detention for Extensively Drug Related Tuberculosis control on involuntary isolation.
High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi directed that the respondents file their response within seven days failure to which the Health Cabinet Secretary will present himself to court to provide oral evidence to the case.
The case will be mentioned on July 29 for further directions.