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

Pregnant women miss vital malaria medicine

Health & Science - By Mactilda Mbenywe | August 22nd 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

The health of pregnant women is at risk after some county public hospitals ran out of the life saving anti-malarial drug.

Josephine* is five months pregnant and for the last four months she has been forced to purchase anti-malarial drugs at a private pharmacy.

Nafula, who is HIV positive, is supposed to take one tablet of Septrine daily to prevent opportunistic infections as well as malaria. The drugs go for Sh720 per dose.

“The drug is very expensive and sometimes I go for days without taking the prescribed dose,” she says.

At Nyalenda slums in Kisumu County, Linda*, who is six months pregnant, has a fever. She says she has not been able to access Fansidar for the last three months.

The dose of three tablets goes for Sh150 and is taken once a month.

“Each time I visit the clinic, I am advised to buy the drug at a nearby chemist. But I cannot afford the drug and at the same time fend for my family,” she laments.

Ignore instructions

A spot check by Saturday Standard established that Kisumu, Siaya and Homa Bay counties ran out of the two essential drugs four months ago. The drugs shortage was occasioned by the withdrawal of The President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (Pepfar) by the United States government last year.

The funding catered for purchase of Fansidar, Septrine and ARV drugs. Pepfar funding now covers only ARVs.

Health experts have raised the alarm over the risk malaria poses to mothers and their unborn babies.

The region is currently recording high malaria cases. In Kisumu, at least 60 per cent of patients have malaria.

At Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH), out of every 150 patients seeking treatment daily, between 50 and 60 are diagnosed with malaria.

Statistics at the Kisumu County department of health indicate an average of 37,000 pregnancies annually and an average of 10,000 pregnant women with HIV.

According to Section Head, Maternal and Newborn Health Studies at Kenya Medical Research Institute Hellen Barsosio, malaria, if left undetected and untreated in pregnancy, can cause aneamia and lead to loss of the baby.

“There is a possibility of increased premature births and low birth weight, in turn increasing the risk of early infant death, usually within the first month of life,” she explains. Barsosio says pregnant women need to be given a mosquito net, checked for fever and screened for malaria. If found positive they must be put on treatment.

She regrets that Covid-19 has affected malaria control among pregnant women, saying they are given tablets to take daily at home, but some ignore the instructions.

“Before Covid-19 we had time to observe them closely, but currently we are just hoping that they are following clinical advice on malaria prevention,” she says.

A pharmacist at JOOTRH who sought anonymity says the facility ran out of Fansidar and Septrine three months ago.

Kisumu County Director of Health Fredrick Oluoch admits that there has been erratic supply of the two drugs. He says the situation has severe negative implications to maternal health.

“We have had inconsistency in supply; some facilities are forced to buy the medicine for the clients,” Oluoch says.

Kenneth Bukachi of Kenya Medical Supply Agency advises counties to work on their ordering procedures and make the necessary adjustments to ensure they stock up the drugs.

“They should have a way of stocking up the drugs and if we don’t have the drugs in our stores they have a right to source for the drugs elsewhere as the policy states,” Bukachi said.

Top Stories

A virus that reverses deafness
Health & Science - By Killiad Sinide


Vaccine nationalism puts world on brink of 'catastrophic moral failure': WHO chief
Health & Science - By Reuters


Africa's COVID-19 case fatality rate surpasses global level
Health & Science - By Reuters


NMS recruits 600 nurses as it prepares to open four hospitals
Health & Science - By Josephat Thiong'o


Woman's cry for justice after losing uterus in wrong surgery
Health & Science - By Mactilda Mbenywe


Blood pressure drugs can manage Covid-19, study shows
Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa


Covid-19: Three dead as 186 test positive
Health & Science - By Judah Ben-Hur


President urges striking medics to return to work
Health & Science - By Wainana Ndung’u and Kennedy Gachuhi


No coronavirus deaths in Kenya today - Health ministry
Health & Science - By Jael Mboga


Expert raises red flag over kidney ailments
Health & Science - By Standard Digital


Latest Stories

NMS recruits 600 nurses as it prepares to open four hospitals
Health & Science - By Josephat Thiong'o


Covid-19 cases to shoot up in March
Health & Science - By Mercy Kahenda


139 test Covid-19 positive as cases near 100,000
Health & Science - By Betty Njeru


Covid-19: Three dead as 186 test positive
Health & Science - By Judah Ben-Hur


Africa's COVID-19 case fatality rate surpasses global level
Health & Science - By Reuters


We'll go on with strike, healthcare workers say
Health & Science - By Anyango Otieno and Kirsten Kanja


COVID-19 shots to cost between Sh300 and Sh1100 under African Union vaccine plan
Health & Science - By Reuters


Covid-19: Kenya records 136 new cases as 176 recover
Health & Science - By Judah Ben-Hur


Muslim Council calls on governors to heal health crisis
Health & Science - By Judah Ben-Hur


I eagerly await my baby's first steps
Health & Science - By Mactilda Mbenywe


//

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