THE World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that people with chronic conditions like HIV, diabetes, high blood pressure and Tuberculosis (TB) could be at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19, as their immune systems may be compromised, particularly if they are not on treatment or not taking their medication as prescribed.
Sept. 13, 2021
3 min read
Drugs for chronic conditions made readily available
- Patients spared from long queues
- Encouraged to register at health care centres
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The government of Lesotho with the support of the USAID and Right to Care has launched a new healthcare initiative that makes medicine collection for patients with chronic conditions easy and quick.
Bonolomeds is the new healthcare innovation that makes free medicine collection for patients with chronic conditions easy, without having to stand in long queues.
One of the registered patients, ’Maboiketlo Selo who has chronic high blood pressure said this is a good move by both the government and its partners as they are now able to collect their medication from places which are not congested, at the designated places.
The initiative, she said also came at an opportune time when the world is facing the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, making it easy for people like her to be safer than before.
Mrs Selo therefore encouraged other patients with chronic conditions to also register at their respective health care centres and to choose the most convenient medicine pick-up points for their drugs.
Speaking during the launch of the programme on Saturday in Maseru, the Programme Coordinator of Right to Care, ’Makatleho Sejane said the Ministry of Health with support of the USAID has shown a political commitment and leadership in the fight against HIV by bearing all the costs relating to TB and other healthcare needs.
She also said in the heart of the COVID 19 pandemic, there is an urgent need to promote social distancing by using different health facilities.
“The aim is actually to attain sustainability for control of the epidemic while keeping on drug availability. Patients do not have to wait in long queues at the health care centres, all they need is to pick up their medicines at designated places,” Mrs Sejane also said.
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While the understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic is limited, people with chronic conditions are said to be at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and they may have poorer treatment outcomes, especially if their condition is untreated or their treatment is interrupted.
WHO as a result warns that older people and those who have chronic conditions are more likely to become severely ill with COVID-19.
Within this context, such people are warned to take extra precautions to protect themselves from the pandemic by taking their medication as prescribed, following strict social (physical) distancing, washing their hands regularly with soap and water or sanitiser and wearing cloth face-masks when they are out of their houses.