“More than 84 000 additional stable chronic patients have been registered for this service since the start of lockdown.” Picture: Supplied
“More than 84 000 additional stable chronic patients have been registered for this service since the start of lockdown.” Picture: Supplied

Chronic dispensary unit ramps up delivery services for Cape patients in need

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Nov 20, 2020

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Cape Town – Since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the chronic dispensary unit (CDU) based in Parow has been like a shot in the arm for the more than 84 000 chronic patients registered to receive their medications at home across the Western Cape.

Chronic patients in areas such as Hornlee, an informal settlement on the edge of Knysna, and Parkwood in Grassy Park are beneficiaries of the contract between the provincial health department and the privately owned Medipost Pharmacy.

CDU general manager Ludo Tandt said: “With the pandemic, CDU moved into high gear, helping to reduce the risks of chronic patients contracting Covid-19 through preparing their medicine parcels for home delivery and collection at designated collection points at health-care facilities during the national lockdown.

“More than 84 000 additional stable chronic patients have been registered for this service since the start of lockdown, and the CDU has ramped up its capacity to more than keep pace with this increased demand.

“We were already dispensing an average of 16 500 to 18 500 parcels per day prior to the pandemic. However, the daily average is now up to 32 000 parcels per day. From the start of 2020 to the end of September, 3.8 million parcels were dispensed from the CDU.”

The initiative is not new. Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said: “Long before the global pandemic, the department was working to de-congest health-care facilities. For almost 15 years, the department has delivered pre-packaged patient medicine parcels for stable chronic patients to either department facilities and clinics or alternate collection sites to reduce waiting times and alleviate the need for patients to queue at pharmacies.”

The department’s director of professional support services, Kim Lowernherz, said: “Through community focused health structures, the medicine parcels dispensed by the CDU are disseminated through non-profit organisations to community health workers, who deliver them to patients.”

Cape Argus

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