Samburu residents turn to herbs as county hospital runs out of drugs

Residents of Samburu have resorted to using herbs due to a biting shortage of drugs at the Maralal County Hospital.

Speaking to The Standard, a number of residents said they were tired of being constantly referred to private chemists to buy drugs and injections.

Others claimed the facility did not even have painkillers.

"I stayed in the maternity ward for three days and I was using painkillers which cost me Sh650 each day. I used close to Sh2,000 for those three days and it was really expensive for me," said Lilian Wanjiru, who had a caesarean section.

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The residents complained that they had made futile trips to the facility for drugs.

"I came here three weeks ago and was told to go buy drugs at the chemists in town. I didn't have money, I have been coming here daily since then," said Leleina Kitiriman from Lkuroto.

Higher sales

Herbalists at Maralal town's open air market said they were making higher sales after promising patients that their herbal medicine was effective.

"This herbs cure malaria, pneumonia, ulcers and typhoid. I advise those with stomach issues to use a herb called seketet, which clears amoeba," said Maria Lekunte, a herbalist.

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Nurses and doctors at the hospital said they were worried about the situation and were concerned for the patients they referred elsewhere to get medicine.

"Imagine prescribing drugs that you know are not available," said a nurse who sought anonymity for fear of being victimised.

Further investigations revealed that the facility's water taps have run dry.

Residents of SamburuMaralal County HospitalLeleina KitirimanDrugsHerbalist