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Medics' strike makes room for herbalists

By Thadius Ondieki | February 24th 2017

As health services continue to be paralysed by the doctors' strike, poor and desperate Kenyans who cannot afford private healthcare have now turned to local herbalists.

Most Kenyans, especially from rural areas and who rely on public health services, are finding it hard to deal with common ailments that could easily be treated at local dispensaries.

The question is whether we can entrust traditional herbalists with our health bearing in mind that the country is flooded with fake health personnel and impostors. Someone somewhere must take responsibility.

I was taught in lower primary school that herbalists deal mainly with small ailments like headaches, backaches, stomach aches, bone fractures and so on.

What then is the fate of people suffering from chronic diseases like high blood pressure and cancer? How will HIV victims get medical care?

With all due respect for credible herbalists who have genuinely treated many ailments, we cannot substitute scientific medicine with local remedies.

I am not undermining local medicine but I am worried about what will happen to victims of a severe road accident when they are taken to a herbalist, for instance.

In addition, the way the herbs are collected and prepared for consumption is questionable.

This calls for the Government to take necessary action to solve the doctors' strike once and for all.

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