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Outcomes of Kenyan children under five years of age, initiated on isoniazid preventive therapy following exposure to bacteriologically confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis, 2013-2016

Chelimo Japhet
Murima Ng’ang’a
Omanwa Kireki
Eunice Omesa
Norah Maore
Jacqueline C. Loui
Micah Cheburet
Diana Ondieki
Jamlick Karumbi
Benjamin Cheserem
Enos Masini
Kamene Kamenye
Omondi Ogutu
Nicholas Kirui


Background: Isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) is one of the key interventions in achieving the End TB Strategy of 90% reduction in Tuberculosis (TB) incidence by 2030 compared with 2015. One of the key pillars in achieving this is preventive treatment of persons at high risk of contracting TB. This group includes children less than five years exposed to bacteriologically confirmed TB. Despite Kenya national IPT roll out in 2015, there still exists limited information on its programmatic coverage, outcomes and missed opportunities for initiation of IPT.

Objective: To determine the coverage, outcomes and missed opportunities for initiation of IPT among children under-five years in contact with bacteriologically confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) in Kenya.

Design: Cross sectional descriptive study.

Setting: All the 47 counties in Kenya.

Subjects: Children under-five years exposed to bacteriologically confirmed PTB initiated on IPT and notified between 2013 and 2016.

Results: During the study period (2013-2016), a total of 6,507 children aged less than five years who were exposed to bacteriologically confirmed PTB were initiated on IPT. The number of children initiated on IPT increased from 721 in 2013 to 3306 in 2016.The number of counties notifying cases increased from 26 in 2013 to 47 in 2016. Treatment completion was 78%, 87% and 82% for 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. Of the 1390 children who had completed the 6 month-course of IPT during the study period, 9%had no TB, 7% were not accessed while84% had no documentation of outcomes by the end of the follow up period of 24 months. Missed opportunities for initiation of IPT reduced from 90% (7109) in 2013 to 60% (4872) in 2016.

Conclusion: IPT coverage and completion rates have improved from 721 in 2013 to 3306 in 2016 and 78% in 2013 to 82% in 2015 respectively. Despite this, Kenya is yet to meet the targets set by the World Health Organization (WHO). Sustainable measures need to be put in place to achieve the WHO targets.

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eISSN: 0012-835X