Background: A recent tuberculosis prevalence survey in Kenya found that the country is home to nearly twice as many patients with tuberculosis as previously estimated. Kenya has prioritized identifying and treating the unnotified or missing cases of tuberculosis. This requires a better understanding of patient care seeking and system weaknesses.
Methods: A patient-pathway analysis (PPA) was completed to assess the alignment between patient care seeking and the availability of tuberculosis diagnostic and treatment services at the national level and for all 47 counties at the subnational level in Kenya.
Results: It was estimated that more than half of patients initiate care in the public sector. Nationally, just under half of patients encountered tuberculosis diagnostic and treatment capacity where they initiated care. Overall, there was distinct variation in diagnostic and treatment availability across counties and facility levels.
Discussion: The PPA results emphasized the need for a differentiated approach to tuberculosis care, by county, and the distinct need for better referral systems. The majority of Kenyans actively sought care; improving diagnostic and treatment capacity in the formal and informal private sector, as well as in the public sector, could help identify the majority of missing cases.