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Perceptions and Use of Herbal Remedies among Patients with Diabetes Mellitus in Murang’a North District, Kenya

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DOI: 10.4236/ojcd.2014.43024    6,454 Downloads   7,809 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease with a world wide distribution. Use of herbal remedies has been on increase with World Health Organization estimating that 80 percent of the world’s population presently uses some form of herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. Objectives of this study were therefore to determine the perceptions people with diabetes mellitus have towards herbal remedies, to determine the extent to which they use herbal remedies and also to establish whether there is any association between the perceptions people have on herbal remedies and use of herbal remedies. The study was carried out in Murang’a District, in Mathioya and Kangema Constituencies where five community health units were purposively selected to participate in the study based on their level of establishment in community health strategy. Data was collected using interview schedules. SPSS was used for data analysis. Significant findings from this study were: a significant number of the respondents (15%) were diagnosed with diabetes mellitus when already admitted in the wards prior to which period they had no idea that they were diabetic, over 86% of those interviewed were given information on diabetes management on diagnosis and they attend hospital clinics for follow-up regularly and therefore this means that the reason for seeking alternative modes of treatment is not due to lack of information on diabetes but due to other reasons, 12.4% of those interviewed admitted using herbal remedies as part of their management of diabetes. Recommendations made following the study were: the government of Kenya through Ministry of Health should encourage rigorous screening of clients and population in general for diabetes to ensure diabetes is diagnosed early and put under appropriate management and that the government of Kenya through Ministry of Health should put up a campaign educating diabetic patients on the potential dangers associated with combining herbal remedies with contemporary medicines due to their interactions.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Mwangi, J. and Gitonga, L. (2014) Perceptions and Use of Herbal Remedies among Patients with Diabetes Mellitus in Murang’a North District, Kenya. Open Journal of Clinical Diagnostics, 4, 152-172. doi: 10.4236/ojcd.2014.43024.

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