By Uchenna Anaekwe and Kingsley Amadi
The residents of Chibiri Community in Kuje Area Council have resorted to using herbalists for the treatment of their children due to lack of proper healthcare facility in the area.
The residents told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja that over the years they have lost children to seizure and other ailments.
Mrs Fatima Yusuf, a 52-year old female herbalist, said that she treated children in the community with herbs from herbalists.
“I treat children with seizure that parents bring here when they are almost dying and most times if they are taken to the hospital they die because this kind of seizure doesn’t like injections.
“I get my herbs mostly from the forest close to lakes and valleys and that has a lot of relevance to the effectiveness of the medicine I make from it.”
She said that the children stop having seizures immediately she gives the parent some herbs to administer.
Mr Musa Sarki, a 93-year old veteran herbal specialist in the community, said that he treats children who vomit and purge.
Sarki said that he takes care of children that have teething problems especially those whose parents have taken them to the hospital and it still persisted.
“I have been doing this all my life. It is a family secret that only those identified with it can do the medication. That is why parents can’t just go and plug leaves and give their children.
“I normally give the parents to boil and give them to the children at home and the medicines must not be taken with any tablets or drugs.”
He said he gets his remedies from the forest and that it took two to three days for effectiveness.
Malama Safia Abubakar, a mother of one of the patients at the herbalist centre, said she resorted to herbal treatment due to lack of proper medical facilities in the community.
“Yes there is healthcare centre but there are not enough facilities. So I always go to the herbalist for treatment especially for my children.
“The antenatal here isn’t really good and they don’t even stay overnight so we sometimes mix the traditional and modern medicine together.”
Ms Habiba Ibraham, a nurse at the Chibiri Healthcare Centre said that they lacked essential facilities to cater for all the needs of the residents.
Ibrahim said that the healthcare centre always refer patients to the Kuje Hospital for further care.
She said that reports had been made to the health secretariat of the FCT to ensure upgrading of services offered to the teeming residents of the community.