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Tuberculosis control activities in the private and public health sectors of Kenya from 2013 to 2017: how do they compare?BACKGROUND: Large numbers of tuberculosis (TB) patients seek care from private for-profit providers. This study aimed to assess and compare TB control activities in the private for-profit and public sectors in Kenya between 2013 and 2017. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study using routinely collected data from the National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Lung Disease Program. RESULTS: Of 421 409 patients registered and treated between 2013 and 2017, 86 894 (21%) were from the private sector. Data collection was less complete in the private sector for nutritional assessment and follow-up sputum smear examinations (p<0.001). The private sector notified less bacteriologically confirmed TB (43.1% vs 52.6%; p<0.001) and had less malnutrition (body mass index <18.5 kg/m2; 36.4% vs 43.3%; p<0.001) than the public sector. Rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing and antiretroviral therapy initiation were >95% and >90%, respectively, in both sectors, but more patients were HIV positive in the private sector (39.6% vs 31.6%; p<0.001). For bacteriologically confirmed pulmonary TB, cure rates were lower in the private sector, especially for HIV-negative patients (p<0.001). The private sector had an overall treatment success of 86.3% as compared with the public sector at 85.7% (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The private sector is performing well in Kenya although there are programmatic challenges that need to be addressed.