Speedy medicine vehicles on call

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pretoria - Patients leaving Gauteng medical facilities without their much-needed drugs will be a thing of the past thanks to two new medicine response vehicles.

Health and Social Development MEC Qedani Mahlangu on Monday handed over the vehicles to ensure that medicines are delivered speedily in emergency cases or where medication is urgently required outside the delivery schedule.

Mahlangu said that when the department launched Operation Kuyasheshwa-La, on 25 June 2009, shortage of medicines at hospitals and clinics was identified as one of the problems to be tackled.

"We are here today to offer our patients a comprehensive supply of medicine at hospitals and clinics as prescribed by the National Policy, which is to ensure an adequate and reliable supply of safe, cost-effective drugs of acceptable quality to all citizens of South Africa and the rational use of drugs by prescribers, dispensers and consumers," Mahlangu said.

As the festive season and 2010 FIFA World Cup approaches, she said, it was crucial that the department was not short of medical supplies during emergencies.

Mahlangu also handed over blood warmers that will warm the blood prior to being transfused.

The blood warmers will be placed at Sizwe, Heidelberg, South Rand, Kopanong, Tshepong TB and Far East Rand hospitals, which have been identified as lacking this essential equipment.

"It is of the utmost importance that blood should not be heated in a microwave oven or similar device or any other method.

"No more shall patients be required to sleep on blood in order to warm it prior to transfusion," said Mahlangu.