More than 100 000 medicine parcels delivered to patients’ homes | Western Cape Government


More than 100 000 medicine parcels delivered to patients’ homes

24 May 2020

When the lockdown was announced, which restricted movement, the Western Cape Department of Health knew it had to ensure continued medication supply to its vulnerable chronic patients. Through its innovative and out of the box thinking, 132 830 chronic medicine parcels were delivered to patients at their homes.


In addition to this, 278 282 patient medicine parcels were also issued by the Chronic Dispensary Unit (CDU) to further enhance efficiency in chronic medicine supply, resulting in better patient experience and outcomes. These parcels are prepacked and delivered to health facilities and alternate collection sites where patients collect it on a scheduled date.


These methods of medicine delivery eliminate gatherings of people and enables social distancing amongst patients when collecting their medication or when it is delivered to their homes.


Health facilities contacted patients whose details have been captured on the database to ensure their details were correct to facilitate the home delivery of their medication.

“We have drawn in the community-based services to facilitate a home delivery service with community-based services and Uber,” explains Ebrahim Wajoodien, pharmacist at Grassy Park Community Day Centre. Parcels are packed two days ahead of schedule and delivered to the drop-off sites where Community Health Workers collect them for delivery to patients’ homes.  


“We have also offered our “unstable” chronic patients the opportunity to call in and arrange the delivery of their medication, especially as they are elderly and frail, and we mitigate the risk of infection by not having them visit the facility,” Ebrahim adds. These patients need to be monitored, and are asked questions first when they call in to ensure that they are stable and not in need of a doctor’s visit before arranging for delivery.


The patients whose address could not be verified for home delivery, will come to the facility or the alternate deliver site to collect on their set date. These patients are called out in small groups to follow a member of the team into the facility so that social distancing is maintained. 


Stable chronic patients can request for their medication to be delivered to their homes or choose to collect on a specific date at a certain site as they may work in an area where the health facility is closer.


In protecting our vulnerable groups our community health workers are in the streets delivering medication to patients’ homes. Sr. Florence Barnes says “we continue to do it with love and compassion because we know our patients are in need.  Many have thanked us for this initiative of delivering their parcels to their home during this time of lockdown.”


The effectiveness of the innovative delivery mechanisms underpins the service we are able to provide, not only for those patients receiving their chronic medication parcels through home deliveries but by keeping them away from facilities we protect the most vulnerable.


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