By: Lunga Memela (Communications Engagement Lead)
Life is precious. Life is short! Life is full many of twists and turns, but also with incredible moments that we cannot afford to miss out on if we have any control over living just a little longer, surrounded by our loved ones.
This is why when our health is riddled with any form of sickness – be it acute illness or any form of chronic condition – we ought to remember that there is hope! This hope lies purely in medical science, and patients on chronic medication who practise healthy living know very well that the benefits of taking their treatment as prescribed by the doctor results in much-desired longevity.
While there are hundreds of chronic conditions in the world, the most common in South Africa remain diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS and TB. For HIV positive patients, for instance, there is clear evidence from this UNAIDS Undetectable = Untransmittable (U=U) explainer that if you take your chronic medications as prescribed, the health benefits are manifold. Health experts confirm that if you have a chronic condition, take the right medication, and lead a healthy lifestyle, with the correct care and support you can live a long and satisfying life.
Health Systems Trust (HST) staff have been hard at work supporting the Department of Health over the years registering individuals diagnosed with chronic conditions to the free and convenient service called CCMDD (Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution) / dablapmeds or 'Get Checked. Go Collect' (GCGC). The mechanism allows you to collect your government-issued medication for free at convenient collection points across the province including the likes of Dis-Chem, Clicks, Sparkport, and Pick n Pay.
The net was cast wider when HST launched a series of CCMDD radio campaigns that raised awareness, especially amongst KwaZulu-Natal residents about the benefits of adherence to chronic mediation through CCMDD. The messaging intensified ahead of the December 2021 holidays where the gospel of adherence flashed across digital media platforms – HST's website, HST Facebook, HST Twitter, HST LinkedIn and GCGC Facebook – all lobbying for the renewal of chronic medication scripts and for the early collection of medicine parcels at 2 800 pick-up points (PuPs) across South Africa so that no patient would be found short of medication during the festive season.
Pandemic fatigue aside, it is now January 2022 and so we need to activate more ‘Adherence Custodians’ within our circles in order to promote return-to-care amongst those who might have missed taking their chronic medication over the festive season, and also to encourage those who qualify to register and benefit from the convenience of CCMDD.
HEALTH SYSTEMS TRUST - CONTACT DETAILS
1 Maryvale Road, Westville, Durban, 3630
+27(0)31 266 9090