• Health executive says the 18 were under regular treatment but disappeared.
• County has organised free camp in partnership with Amref to screen and treat TB.
Eighteen people diagnosed with TB in Embu county are being sought to be treated forcefully amid concerns over increased cases of the airborne infection.
The 18 were on regular treatment but they absconded. They are being sought on court orders, Health executive Joan Mwende said.
"They will be confined in wards for about eight months until they get healed," she said, urging them to come out and continue with the treatment to avoid endangering other people.
There are 4,000 TB sufferers under treatment in the devolved unit. There is an ongoing free TB screening camp at Embu Stadium organised by the county and national governments in collaboration with Amref.
The screening camp lasts until October 21.
On Tuesday, Mwende and Deputy Governor David Kariuki said the sick will be given drugs until they are cured.
They said the sick should complete their treatment regime and eat a balanced diet to improve their immunity.
Mwende said it was regrettable that most people in the county were not taking a balanced diet "as they are busy looking for money". She encouraged them to change their attitude and eat well.
She said when a patient refuses to complete treatment as prescribed by the doctor, the tuberculosis bacteria become resistant, putting the patient and those nearest them at risk of contracting the disease.
Kariuki said, “We appeal to the people to come out in large numbers and get screened for TB so that they can be treated completely for their benefit."
The DG said owing to the increase of infections, the county government has taken concerted efforts to reduce the number of those already infected and prevent new infections.
He said the exercise will be replicated in subcounties to ensure the county is TB-free, noting that there is enough personnel to offer the services during the camp.
Edited by R.Wamochie