Support for parents managing their child’s diabetes
Thursday, 15 November 2018, It can be a major shock for parents to learn that their child is diabetic. While there have been significant advances in the management of childhood diabetes, the intricacies of monitoring the health of a diabetic child can be particularly stressful for families.
“A diabetes diagnosis is life-changing for children, as well as their parents, and learning about how to manage the condition can seem extremely daunting at first,” says Marilize Dreyer, pharmacy manager at Medipost Pharmacy.
She explains that many of the families who rely on Medipost Pharmacy for the delivery of their diabetic children’s chronic medicine have been through the often-harrowing journey leading up to a diabetes diagnosis, including the process of healthcare professionals trying to pinpoint the cause of persistent and distressing symptoms.
“Many parents tell us that simply knowing that our pharmacists and pharmacist’s assistants are just a telephone call away provides them with a measure of peace of mind. This is why we go the extra mile to support families with clinical advice and reassurance.”
Medipost Pharmacy’s core service is delivery of chronic medicines, reliably and conveniently, anywhere within South Africa. Marilize says that one of the most common queries parents phone to seek guidance on is whetherinsulin can still be used if it has not been stored in the fridge.
“The answer to this question is that insulin is safe to use at room temperature for up to 30 days. Medipost Pharmacy ensures that all medicines, such as insulin, that require a cold supply chain are packed with ice packs frozen for a minimum of five days at -20oC and are packed in polyurethane boxes to ensure that the cold chain is maintained for up to 50 hours. The boxes and delivery routes are tested regularly to guarantee that the cold chain is maintained at all times.
“This ensures that the insulin will still be below 8oC when the parcel is delivered each month, and so even if it is not refrigerated when the family receives the insulin, its pharmacological integrity will remain intact up to the time when the next month’s Medipost Pharmacy delivery arrives. Parents are therefore comforted by the fact that the medicine that they need to manage their child’s diabetes will arrive on time each month and in good condition.
Medipost Pharmacy supports parents with clinical advice on their children’s diabetes medicine, which is delivered to them each month. Pictured are Medipost Pharmacy team members (left to right) administrator Anne-Marie Pretorius, pharmacy manager Marilize Dreyer and pharmacist’s assistant Lelani Delport.
“We also assist with obtaining medical schemeauthorisation for medicine, such as insulin, and consumables, like insulin pumps, to ensure that there is no delay in the delivery of these essential suppliesfor the patients who need them,” Marilize explains.
LelaniDelport, who is a post-basic pharmacist assistant and leads the team responsible for medicines and medical devices for diabetes management, says that during her 13 years with the company she has walked a long path with many families.
“I can remember advising the parents of some people, who are teenagers today,when they were first diagnosed with diabetes as toddlers. It is not always an easy journey for families, as there are many considerations when raising a child with diabetes, but we do our best to alleviate their anxiety by taking the time to talk through any concerns they may have and advising on the day-to-day management of childhood diabetes through appropriate use of the prescribed treatments.”
Another key member of Lelani’s team within the Special Medicines Department at Medipost Pharmacy is administrator Anne-Marie Pretorius, known affectionately to a number of families making use of this service as ‘Anne-Marie Medipost’, who has been with the company for some 14 years.
“More than 85% of the patients we deliver type 1 diabetes medicine for are children, and it is our passion to take the time to ensure authorisation and dispatch of medicines rolls out smoothly, month after month, so that these families have one less thing to worry about.
“While we do not often see these people face-to-face, we try to make a difference in their lives. Over the years we come to know the families and they have come to know us, and some even go so far as to send us a thank you card or a box of chocolates for Christmas as a token of their appreciation. There really is no need because we so enjoy being of assistance to these families, and knowing that we are playing a role in keeping their children well is in itself the greatest reward,” Anne-Marie concludes.
More about Medipost Pharmacy
Medipost Pharmacy, which is the largest such service registered with the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC), provides free delivery of chronic medication anywhere throughout the country to ensure patients have reliable, timeous access to chronic medications.
For the last 27 years, Medipost Pharmacy has been a trusted partner to medical schemes, private and public patients, providing free delivery to a customer’s home, their nearest approved delivery point, such as a doctor’s rooms, clinic or PEPcell counter, and by arrangement to the customer’s temporary address or holiday destination within South Africa.
The company claims, dispenses, dispatches and delivers chronic medication to beneficiaries, to medical schemes, and other clients such as the employer groups and the Department of Health. Some 400 000 members of 82 medical schemes across South Africa are among those currently benefitting from Medipost’s courier pharmacy service.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Medipost Pharmacy
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Estene Lotriet-Vorster
Telephone: (011) 469 3016