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Free Content Effective tuberculosis control and health sector reforms in Kenya: challenges of an increasing tuberculosis burden and opportunities through reform [Country Case Report]

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During the period from 1980 to 1997, the annual number of new tuberculosis cases increased four-fold in Kenya, and had reached approximately 50000 cases by 1998. During the same time period, the government per capita expenditure on health dropped from US$9.5 to US$3.5. Since 1983, Kenya has been decentralising financial responsibility and decision-making power to the districts. In addition, the late 1980s saw the introduction of cost-sharing schemes for most health services, excluding tuberculosis (TB) treatment. In the midst of these changes, a dual epidemic of TB and HIV/AIDS emerged, and is presently over-burdening the traditional public health system. In response, the National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Control Programme (NLTP) is seeking a wider network of service providers and new approaches to the prevention and treatment of TB in the country. The history of health sector reform in Kenya is summarised and the role of the NLTP in these reforms assessed. Recent approaches taken by the NLTP to sustain effective TB control, which draw on the environment of a changing and flexible health system, are expressed. Participation of the NLTP in components of health sector reform, particularly decentralisation, integration, financing through cost-sharing and public/private mix, are highlighted.
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Keywords: HIV/AIDS; Kenya; disease control; health sector reform; tuberculosis

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: World Bank, Washington, DC, USA 2: National Leprosy Tuberculosis Programme, Ministry of Health, Nairobi, Kenya

Publication date: 2000-07-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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