Timely medical outreach

Dear Editor,
Recently, the Regional Health Authority carried out a few ‘outreach’ programmes at Brother’s Village, Angoy’s Avenue and Port Mourant. In his letter to the press, the Director of Health Services of Region Six boastfully highlighted this event which I believe is good, since ‘if a man does not beat his own drum, no one will do it’.
The Director also added that “medical supplies, OTC drugs, medical equipment, bed sheets, etc, were distributed to all 16 NDCs and 3 municipalities”. The Kilcoy/Hampshire NDC , where I am the Chairman, received respirators (which I presumed to be medical equipment in the context of the Director’s letter); Advil liquid gel tablets (6 packs); Gummy vitamins (3 bottles); some loose sanitary pads in a plastic bag and some crepe bandages – these can be termed “medical supplies, OTC drugs and first aid kits”. As the Chairman for the NDC, I wish to compliment his Herculean effort in bringing such immensely valuable medical resources to our greatly impoverished NDC and all the other NDCs and municipalities.
Mr Stephens should also be complimented for the fact that his mathematical, accounting and management skills have been utilised to the fullest. When one looks at the amounts of Advil and vitamins given to us, one may probably say that the amounts are so small, but this is where the genius of the Director comes into play. These drugs will expire within the next three months so you will not have it available for use when it expires! What a genius! I do sure that if he can translate this ingenuity into other spheres of the medical service in Region Six, our health will greatly improved. For example, making drugs readily available to our patients, having medical supplies such as x-ray films, syringes readily available and in adequate supply, avoid having dogs and cats having meals with patients among other items.
However, it must be pointed out that it has been the practice to dump expired drugs costing millions of dollars almost annually, so it is good that the Director has the foresight to avoid this costly dumping. In a few months, this would have been a reality.
On the other hand, I do hope that the fact that these drugs are so close to the dumping date have been told to the recipients. (This was not done in the case of my NDC.) If this advisory is not given, then I am sure that many persons will continue to use these drugs since they will feel that they have only recently received them. In addition, the expiry date on the Advil box is camouflaged in black and that makes it hardly visible unless one takes a real close look. This is compounded by the fact that many persons may lack the literacy skills to read the labels.
Lastly, I do hope that in the future a more timely distribution of drugs is done at these medical outreach programmes so that persons can reap maximum health benefits and avoid unnecessary risks.

Yours sincerely,
Haseef Yusuf
Chairman of the Health Committee –Region six
Regional Councillor