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Kenyan herbalist feted over medicinal research


By Metro Reporter

The Proprietor of Murugu Herbal Clinics Peter Murugu was among newly crowned persons of the year alongside key personalities like First Lady Margaret Kenyatta in an event held last week in Nairobi for his lead role in spearheading research in herbal medicine.

The event held last Friday at the Laico Regency attracted other key personalities like the Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal who presented Dr Murugu with the award. Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore and his Equity Bank counterpart James Mwangi were also crowned for their efforts in improving quality of life through various initiatives in their organisations.
Speakers at the fete acknowledged the resources that Murugu Natural & Nutritional Clinic has put in to transform herbal medicine to what is increasingly becoming acceptable to many including the elite.
“September 5, 2014 will go down in the annals of history as a day when herbal medicine was given the highest fete ever in Kenyan soil. It is a day we do not take for granted at Murugu Natural & Nutritional Clinic because we have just realised that somebody somewhere has been keeping close tabs on our effort to compliment the conventional medicine through a different approach, the herbal route,” Dr Murugu said.
Dr Murugu went at length to stress why it was important for the government to acknowledge that herbal medicine was real and develop a curriculum for those who want to take up the profession.
“It will not only ensure uniformity in the practice but also see best practices take root.
“I am aware that the government is working on a policy to regulate the practice of herbal medicine in the country. This is laudable because it has been long overdue. The policy will not only help weed out unscrupulous practitioners but also streamline the field so that people can choose to decide whether to go to a herbal expert or hospitals without being worried about the quality of treatment,” he added
He said the guideline will also prevent a Loliondo-like situation when many Kenyans trooped to Tanzania to see Mzee Ambilikile Mwasapile for cure of their ailments unfortunately many died after abandoning the drugs they were taking in hope that they had been healed.
The event which was supported by the government’s department of culture and social services was organised by Showbiz Africa. It is an annual event.
“We picked on Dr Murugu because of the numerous requests we received from members of the public who in one way of the other have benefited from his services-they appeared pleased with his services,” said John Njenga, the chief events coordinator.
Njenga explained that Dr Murugu’s approach to herbal medicine has heralded a milestone in a sector hitherto believed to be a preserve of the less educated in society.
“We found it interesting that although herbal medicine was seen as backward and its place in the health sector dismissed as outdated, Murugu Natural & Nutritional Clinic has changed this perception with its diagnostic approach that incorporates modern laboratory system and prescription,” he said.
Dr Murugu stated that before embarking on this journey, he was always perturbed by the hypocrisy displayed by the elite on green revolution.
“I used to wonder why it is easy for people to use beauty products made of herbal extracts from Aloe vera, avocado and other plants but when it comes to medicine, preference is given to chemicals, many which are health hazards in the end,” he said
He said they stand out from other people who profess knowledge in the field because of the approach to diagnosis.
“Just like you will be referred to a laboratory at Kenyatta National Hospital before treatment commences, so will your blood sample be tested."
He said herbal medicine can mutually co-exist with the modern hospitals.
“What I have noticed over time is that most of our clients are people who have first gone to hospitals and mostly referral facilities before coming to us. It must be known that I am not here to disparage hospitals; we are alive today because of them. However, my point is that herbal medicine equally has a place in the modern world if practiced professionally. And talking from experience, it gives better results in some cases,” he said to the applause of the audience.

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