Politics aside, Muguka is bad for human consumption as experts warn Kenyans of dire health implications – Look! Chew it at your own peril

Wednesday, June 12, 2024 – In the wake of a debate over the controversial Muguka that has been declared unwanted in certain parts of the country due to its adverse effects, experts have also weighed in and given their two cents.

Reports indicate that the consumption of Muguka has led to a rising number of youths who are abusing Muguka and other substances.

The abuse of Muguka has been blamed for the alarming cases of admissions at mental health and rehabilitation centres in the coastal region.

A report by the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse Authority (NACADA) titled, Supply And Demand Dynamics Of Miraa/Muguka In Selected Production And Consumption Regions of Kenya tabled a shared health effect of Khat (Miraa) and Muguka.

Among these effects include lack of sleep and the ability to keep a person alert for an extended period.

Some users, however, argue that certain tasks require a person to be awake, hence khat or Muguka comes in handy to curtail sleep.

According to the report, chewing miraa and Muguka is also associated with tooth decay and discolouration. The user’s teeth turn yellowish or dark in colour. Continued use over many years often leads to eventual loss of teeth

These types of stimulants are also linked with loss of appetite. If the person starts chewing before eating, it is highly unlikely that such a person will have an appetite for food once done with chewing.

It is possibly due to loss of appetite that many users are linked with loss of weight. However, loss of weight could also stem from lack of sleep as a result of chewing Muguka for long hours and thus failure to get sufficient rest. 

An emerging perceived fear among users, according to this report, is the issue of reddening of lips due to the increased use of chemicals in spraying. Some farmers harvest Muguka before the chemical used to spray loses potency

Other effects include body rashes and red eyes as detailed in a part of this report

Muguka contains the active ingredients cathine and cathinone which are chemicals listed as psychotropic substances as listed in several conventions in which Kenya has ratified.


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