Elderly and patients with chronic illnesses to get medicines delivered at home in Mpumalanga

23 June 2020 - 12:17
By Mandla Khoza
Elderly and patients with chronic illnesses to get medicines delivered at home in Mpumalanga.
Image: 123rf.com/Alexander Raths Elderly and patients with chronic illnesses to get medicines delivered at home in Mpumalanga.

In an aim to curb the spread of the coronavirus among people who have underlying illnesses, Mpumalanga health MEC Sasekani Manzini has launched a “clinic-based approach” which will see people over the age of 60 and those with chronic medical conditions not going out to collect their medications. 

Launching the compaign at Mkhondo local municipality's Iswepe clinic in Piet Retief  on Monday, Manzini said clinic committees, ward committees, traditional leaders and councillors need to alert residents and work with the health workers in identifying community members and help them to stay in their house while their medications are being delivered. 

Manzini said the database of patients collecting their medications at clinics will be used to know their locations. 

“We are here to launch the clinic-based approach, it means that over and above the ward-based approach we want to take it down to the clinic level because we have seen that the clinics have all the databases about the patients that have other different co-morbidities that we want to focus on in terms of prevention of infections of the coronavirus. 

"That will also give us an opportunity to deal with the saying that we are ignoring the other illnesses because we are focused on coronavirus," Manzini said. 

"We ... want to make sure that our people who have other co-morbidities are always taking their medications.”

Manzini said in taking the medications to the people, they do not go out and risk their lives from coronavirus in what she labelled “a home-based caring” for the patients. 

“We want to teach them so that they are not exposed to Covid-19 because we have seen that those who have other illnesses like TB, HIV, sugar diabetes are dying when they have caught coronavirus. So, we want to make sure that they stay at home and take their medications from there.”

Manzini said the province has seen a number of infections around mining towns and have come up with plans working with mining companies. 

“We have seen an increase in the number of positive cases, especially in the mining towns. We are coming with a programme and we are going to treat municipality by municipality to deal with that. Our mines are listening in how we advise them and we are going to work closer with the mines to curb the spread of the virus because those people working there go back to the communities around them,” said Manzini. 

INkosi Themba Yende told Sowetan that as traditional leaders they were happy with the approach which will help elders not to go out. 

“This [is] pure caring, especially for elderly who are seen dying if they have caught the virus and those that have other illnesses. As a traditional leader here, messages will go around to the community and alert them to come forward and be known where they reside so that they don’t miss their medications while seated at home,” said Yende.