HEALER BECOMES KILLER

How patients are prescribed so many drugs, it’s killing them

With time, there is a gradual buildup of medication in the patient’s bloodstream. This causes toxicity, which is what is killing many people, not the disease

In Summary

• Situations where a single patient takes a multitude of medicines — called polypharmacy — are rampant in almost in all Kenyan health facilities

• WHO recommends that whenever a patient exceeds five daily drugs, that prescription must be evaluated by a qualified pharmacist

How Mary Waithera, 67, ended up popping 17 pills a day is a cautionary tale on overprescription in Kenya. And her case is not the worst.

In 2015, a year after she was diagnosed with high blood ...

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