Sick Samburu residents seeking health services at the county referral hospital in Maralal town are now turning to herbs as the facility struggles with shortage of drugs.
On Tuesday, residents said that they are always referred to private pharmacies and chemists to buy simple drugs like antibiotics.
Others said that they are forced to buy injections in case doctors prescribe that they need to be injected.
Those seeking maternal services at the facility are required to buy painkillers before they are admitted in the maternity.
Lilian Wanjiru said that he underwent a cesarean section three days ago at the facility.
“I was told there were no pain killers and I was sent to the chemist, I stayed in the maternity 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 Wanjiru.
Leleina Kitiriman from Lkuroto said that he has been going to the hospital for the last three weeks to look for drugs in vain.
“I came here three weeks ago and was told to go buy drugs at the chemists in town since the hospital pharmacy had run out of stock, i didn’t have money, i have been coming here daily since then to check if they restocked,” he said.
Ann Wanjugu, a hawker in Maralal town, said that she has been forced to seek the help of a herbalist since she could not afford drugs at the chemist.
She said that she was introduced to a herbalist in town by a friend when she borrowed her money for drugs.
“She told me herbs are good and cheaper, this is the first time i will be using herbs but i have no other option since i don’t have enough money,” she said.
Herbalists based at the Maralal town open air market said that they are making higher sales as the hospital lacks basic medicine.
Maria Lekunte, a herbalist, said that she is making better sales as her herbs are locally available and cheap.
“This herbs cure Malaria, Pneumonia, Ulcers and Typhoid, i advise those with stomach issues to use a herb called ‘Seketet’ which clears amoeba,” she said.