Public Alert on "Herbal Contraceptives"
PUBLIC ALERT ON “HERBAL CONTRACEPTIVES”
The Pharmacy and Poisons Board’s attention is drawn to cases where unscrupulous people purporting to sell herbal medicinal products are indeed dispensing unauthorized and unregistered conventional medicines through “herbal/Chinese clinics”. This is contravention of the Law, Cap 244, and Laws of Kenya - The Pharmacy and Poisons Act. Members of the public are being misled to believe that these are “herbal/Chinese” medicinal products have no side effects.
The information/writing on the pack is in Chinese language - which is contrary to the above Law. The product is sold as ‘herbal/Chinese contraceptives’ to women of child bearing age. The product actually contains very high levels of Levonorgestrel and Quinestrol, which are conventional pharmaceutical products. This product has not been registered by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and its use poses serious medical complications to mother and child when breast-feeding.
In children less than 3 years of age, the side effects reported have been: early enlargement of breasts and uterus, swellings in legs, pain in muscles, difficulty in walking and speech impairment. Mothers have complained of feeling pregnant and pain in the feet during walking and working and other life threatening complications. All mothers and their children who may have been exposed to this medicine are advised to urgently seek medical attention at the nearest registered health facility.
For the public: All are advised not to take the above product which has not been authorized by the Board. Users are being misled to take the product under watch at the “Herbal/Chinese” clinics which is a deliberate intention to conceal its identity. The safety, efficacy and quality of this product and many others from these sources cannot be assured and are bound to cause serious harm to health. The Board urgently welcomes any report about the above product or other similar products for fast investigation and action. Meanwhile the Board inspectors are carrying out a crackdown of the herbal outlets and other suspected places violating the above law and any relevant Health related Act.
The public is urged not to take any medicines from any clinics if they are not written in English/Kiswahili. Free safe contraceptives and advice are provided at Government facilities. Medical treatment is to be sought from registered premises only and not in places such as hotel rooms.
For “herbalists” and media: Sections 37, 38, 39 and 40 of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act is clear regarding advertisements of drugs and medicines. You are asked to comply with the same with immediate effect. You are urged to partner with us to prevent harm to the public.
It has also come to our notice that some persons are advertising in local vernacular media farfetched processes such as ‘cleaning blood’. This process only occurs in specialized facilities such as dialysis centre’s. Such misleading media advertisements must stop forthwith.
For health practitioners: Health practitioners are not permitted to advertise themselves to qualify their practice.
All suspected cases are to be reported to: