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Kisumu County provides 31 patients with drugs to stop heroine abuse

Pharmaceutical Technologist Victor Omondi administering methadone to a patient at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH). the drug is used to help addicts mitigate their withdrawal symptoms after stopping heroine use. [PHOTO: MAUREEN ODIWUOR/STANDARD]

More than 30 people who have been battling drug addiction are currently undergoing therapy at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital’s (JOOTRH) newly opened wellness centre.

The facility, which previously served as a maternity ward, was refurbished by the county at a cost of Sh7 million.

 It was set up because of rampant abuse of the drug. County Secretary and Chief Officer of Health Ojwang’ Lusi said the centre, which began operations in January has been attending to 26 male and five female patients.

“We are targeting to reach between 20 and 25 patients every month. Our main target is people living within Kisumu town who can afford to come to the hospital on a daily basis,” he said.

The patients undergo the Medically Assisted Therapy (MAT) programme where methadone drug is administered on a daily basis to help them mitigate their withdrawal symptoms.

 “Methadone is a drug that has to be taken while the clinician is watching. That is why it is taken at the hospital,” Lusi said.

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He said drug abuse is a social and medical problem, hence the need to assist those affected.

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