DRUGS UNAPPROVED

Concerns raised as Busia diabetics turn to herbal medicine

Patients urged to instead seek treatment in recognised health facilities

In Summary

•According to data from the Busia health department, diabetes prevalence rate stands at 1.9 per cent.

•The data revealed that more women in Busia live with diabetes compared to men.

Public health chief officer Jonathan Ino on Monday in Butula subcounty.
NOT HERBAL MEDICINE: Public health chief officer Jonathan Ino on Monday in Butula subcounty.
Image: EMOJONG OSERE

The Busia county health department is concerned about the increase in diabetic patients resorting to herbal medicine.

Public health chief officer Jonathan Ino said some herbal drugs being used may not have been tested and approved for use by the Ministry of Health.

Ino advised diabetic patients to seek treatment in recognised health facilities.

He spoke to the Star on phone Wednesday. 

“Shun herbal medicine and have faith in our health facilities which have qualified and professional healthcare workers,” Ino said.

“Some of the drugs sourced from herbal selling facilities have huge negative health implications.”

He said those consuming herbal medicine to ease pain associated with diabetes secretly consult herbalists.

According to data from the Busia health department, the diabetes prevalence rate averagely stands at 1.9 per cent.

This means out of an approximate population of 950,000 people, there is an average of 18,050 people with diabetes. 

Out of the 18,050 people living with the disease, approximately 12,000 seek treatment at health facilities approved by the Health ministry.

The data revealed that more women in Busia live with diabetes compared to men.

Out of the residents who have been screened against the disease and tested positive, 8,563 are women while 4,400 are men.

Residents of Busia screened against diabetes on Monday.
SCREENING: Residents of Busia screened against diabetes on Monday.
Image: EMOJONG OSERE

The data revealed that out of the over 10,000 people who are diabetic, 240, are on constant insulin treatment while 4,664 use oral drugs.

Another 570 use both drugs and insulin while 3,369 are being helped by the health department to access healthy diets.

Speaking on Monday when the county celebrated World Diabetes Day,  county clinical officer Dorah Mutonyi emphasised the importance of residents coming out to know their diabetes status for early diagnosis and proper treatment to prevent complications. 

“Let us be responsible and know our status to protect ourselves from the effects and treatment cost,” Mutonyi said.

She said expectant women should constantly screen against diabetes.

World Bank Primary Integrated Care for 4 Chronic Diseases project administrator Lillian Lusimbo said PIC4C has made diverse interventions that have scaled up the provision of services in the county to benefit patients with non-communicable diseases.

“Through the project, we have provided monitoring tools among them blood pressure machines and glucometer machines to ensure patients can monitor their blood sugar and pressure,” she said.

Present during the event included county health administrator Ali Atemba, health promotion officer Nelson Andanje, community health services coordinator Emmanuel Luvai and representatives from Nutrition International.

Edited by Kiilu Damaris

Celebrations to mark the World Diabetes Day in Butula on Monday.
Celebrations to mark the World Diabetes Day in Butula on Monday.
Image: EMOJONG OSERE