In Summary
  • Sharon Chepchirchir, 24, and Lydia Chepkemboi, 17, have been munching bar soaps since childhood, the same way others enjoy their chocolate.
  • Their strange behaviour has baffled many at Kiboji village in Mosop, where they grew up.

  • To establish the cause of their insatiable appetite for soap, the girls have undergone a series of tests at Oak Tree Hospital in Eldoret.

Initial tests done on two young women, whose appetite for soap has refused to die, have revealed that they are anaemic and are suffering from severe iron deficiency.

The two sisters, Sharon Chepchirchir, 24 and Lydia Chepkemboi, 17, were tested by doctors at Oak Tree Hospital in Eldoret on Thursday.

Dr Mathew Koech, who led a team of medical specialists in conducting specialised tests on their blood said the deficiency could point to the reason for their weird cravings although he said they will be doing further tests.


“Among the two sisters the younger one is the most affected. Normal blood level should be between 14-18 pints but for her case she has 7 pints which is very low for a woman. Her cells are also very small in size they are size 48 but they should be between size 80-100,” said Dr Koech.

“We also realised that her iron level in the body is basically empty. And between the two she is the one who craves for soap more,” he added.

Dr Koech said that their initial suspicion was that the ladies lacked sodium and potassium and that is why they were eating soap. But after the test they ruled out this possibility.

“Indeed as doctors we have confirmed that the two girls have both been eating soap since they were 5 years old. However, we could not find any particular explanation as to why they crave for soap.  We had suspected they lack sodium and potassium which they lose in urine but they have enough,” said Dr Koech.

He disclosed that soap did not have any nutritional value since it is made of a lot of fatty acid, sodium and potassium.

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