x Health Men's Health Children's Health Nutrition and Wellness Reproductive Health Health & Science Digital News Videos Opinions Cartoons Education E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise BULK SMS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
Login ×
BTV
VAS
DCX
RMS

Study raises red flag over pregnant women mixing herbs and Western medicine

Health & Science - By GATONYE GATHURA | November 6th 2014 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

NAIROBI, KENYA: A worrisome number of pregnant women in Nairobi are using herbal treatments even as they attend formal maternal clinics.

Carol Mamothena Mothupi, a researcher at Moi University's School of Public Health, followed more than 300 women attending maternal clinic at Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi and found high use of herbal treatment in the group.

The women are largely getting most of these herbs in the market and use them alongside conventional medicines, which according to Ms Mothupi is dangerous for their health as well as that of their young or unborn children.

Even more disturbing, she says, is that most of them are not telling their doctors of their use of herbs, and out of those who did, only one was advised on the dangers of mixing medicines. Others who did so report that their doctors were just indifferent.

The women, the study says, used herbal medicine for back pain, toothache, indigestion and infectious diseases such as respiratory tract infections and malaria.

However, they were also found to use the herbs for pregnancy related conditions such as swollen feet, back pain and digestive problems.

The findings seemed to surprise the researcher that urban women who had good access to a major health facility such as Mbagathi were also using herbal treatments. Women who were more likely to use herbs were those with least education or none at all.

Ms Mothupi says the biggest reason why the women are turning to herbs is the belief that Western medicine is not working.

Other reasons were that herbs are more affordable advice from family and lack of drugs at the hospital. The women were of the strong opinion that it was safe to use them during pregnancy.

Forty per cent of the women said they have ever used herbal treatments, indicating there is heavy use of these products even in urban areas and there is need for policies to regulate the sector and make them safer for users.

"We are in the final stages of drafting a Bill which proposes to remove quacks and make them safe to use without necessarily making them too expensive," says Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.

This report comes less than a month after another survey showed almost all parents with cancer children attending Eldoret's Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) had them on herbal treatments.

Be The First To Comment

Top Stories

How borehole water hurts your health
Health & Science - By Gatonye Gathura


400 more test Covid-19 positive as counties receive vaccine
Health & Science - By Betty Njeru


Eve D’Souza narrates Covid-19 jab experience
Health & Science - By Jael Mboga


Detaining patients illegal, court declares
Health & Science - By Kamau Muthoni


Covid-19 vaccination exercise kicks off at KNH
Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa


Dr Amoth first public officer to get Covid-19 vaccine
Health & Science - By Jael Mboga


President Uhuru flags off national distribution of Covid-19 vaccine
Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa and Sara Okuoro


Shot in the arm for counties as Uhuru flags off vaccines
Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa and Peterson Githaiga


Focus turns on 15 counties as HIV infections rise
Health & Science - By Mercy Adhiambo


Nothing has been left to chance, says Kagwe as vaccine roll-out set for Friday
Health & Science - By Judah Ben-Hur


Latest Stories

Covid-19 vaccination exercise kicks off at KNH
Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa


Merck says study shows COVID-19 drug causes quick reduction in virus
Health & Science - By Reuters


Kenya records 633 new Covid-19 cases
Health & Science - By Vincent Kejitan


Eve D’Souza narrates Covid-19 jab experience
Health & Science - By Jael Mboga


Detaining patients illegal, court declares
Health & Science - By Kamau Muthoni


Shot in the arm for counties as Uhuru flags off vaccines
Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa and Peterson Githaiga


Covid-19 vaccine to be administered today
Health & Science - By Beldeen Waliaula


400 more test Covid-19 positive as counties receive vaccine
Health & Science - By Betty Njeru


Dr Amoth first public officer to get Covid-19 vaccine
Health & Science - By Jael Mboga


Why Covid jab got cold reception at airport
Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa


//

Stay Ahead!

Access premium content only available
to our subscribers.

Or Login With Your Standard Account
Support independent journalism
×
Create An Account
Support independent journalism
I have an account Log in
Reset Password
Support independent journalism
Log in