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Tuberculosis and HIV co-infection among miners at selected mining sites in Migori County, Kenya


Tuberculosis (TB) disease is caused by acid-fast bacilli called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The emergence of drug-resistant TB variants as well as co-infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) have complicated treatment for TB. Kenya currently implements TB screening and HIV testing for all patients and their caretakers, regardless of their reason for visiting the hospitals. Drug resistance is tested in all HIV-positive TB suspects to guide the choice of drugs in cases of TB-HIV co-infection and minimise delays in treatment initiation. These services are, however, confined to the health facilities, and all those who do not visit the hospitals are missed. The objective of our study was to evaluate TB missed opportunities among the mining community of Osiri-Matanda gold mines in Nyatike sub-county, Migori County, Kenya. Community health outreaches were conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. Demographic information was recorded for all clients consenting to the study. HIV testing was done using the HIV rapid testing kits. Sputum samples were tested in the local laboratory using Ziel-Neelsen (ZN) staining. All TB-positive outcomes were further tested using GeneXpert MTB/RIF to determine whether or not they were resistant to Rifampicin. A total of 297 participants were enrolled in the study. Among these, 49.5% were males and 50.5% were females. The youngest participant was 15 years old, while the oldest was 63 years old. A 15.5% TB prevalence was found after testing, with the age range of 35–44 having the highest prevalence at 39%. 71.7% of TB infections were male, while 28.3% were female. HIV-TB co-infections accounted for 37% of cases. None of the TB cases were RIF-resistant. This data shows that males are more at risk of TB and HIV infections than females. Collaborative health outreaches that include screening and testing for both TB and HIV could help in early detection and minimise missed opportunities.

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eISSN: 1561-7645