Lela Community Health Centre in Kisumu West Faces Medicine Shortage Crisis

By Treezer Michelle Atieno

Residents of Otonglo village in Kisumu West sub-county are grappling with challenges in accessing basic healthcare services due to the absence of basic drugs at the Lela Community Health Centre. This health centre, once a reliable source for essential medications, now stands barren, lacking the most fundamental drugs necessary for treating common ailments.

“On 12th February, I visited Lela Community Health Centre after suffering from for about four days. Following consultation and checkup, the prescribed drugs- Amoxicillin, Piriton and Paracetamol- Were unfortunately unavailable at their pharmacy,” says Lyne Anyango, a long-time resident of Otonglo, expressing her frustration with the current state of affairs at the health centre.  “It’s disheartening to see the health centre, our first point of call for medical assistance, lacking even the most basic drugs. I had no choice but to purchase the medicines from a private chemist, where the prices were exorbitant,” she adds.

The absence of essential medications has driven residents like Japheth Sao to seek alternative healthcare options. “The lack of essential medicines means treatment is incomplete. There’s no point in going there if I am sure I will not receive the attention I need. Because of this, I would rather visit private clinics for minor health issues.,”

The repercussions of the health centre’s drug shortage extend beyond mere inconvenience, posing a significant threat to the community’s overall well-being. With compromised access to essential medications, residents face increased vulnerability to the worsening   of their health conditions, conditions that could have been managed with timely intervention.

Seeking treatment from private chemists, where prices are often inflated, further strains household budgets, particularly for families already grappling with the rising cost of living. Anyango emphasizes, “It’s a struggle to make ends meet, especially with everything else becoming more expensive. We’re caught between a rock and a hard place. Do we pay for medicines or food? It’s a tough decision to make when money is tight.”

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