by Roma Ramphal, CCMDD Provincial Co-ordinator: KZN
Health Systems Trust (HST) has embarked on a journey with Technovera, a South African company founded by South African engineer Neo Hutiri, who invented the Pelebox Smart Locker to improve access to medicine for patients with chronic diseases in under-serviced communities.
The purpose of the Pelebox is to establish a cost-effective, convenient, quick and efficient alternative medicine parcel collection system.
Pelebox can accommodate up to 1 500 collections in a month, so that if a facility has fewer than this number of patients, all CCMDD medicine parcels held at the facility may be collected from the Peleboxes installed on its premises.
The Pelebox allows a facility to dissolve its Spaced Fast-Lane Appointment (SFLA) collection point − a facility-resourced internal pick-up point where patients registered on the Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) queue for their medicine parcels. The Pelebox thereby relieves the facility staff of managing the SFLA and helps to decongest the clinic.
By making patients' access to medicine more convenient, rapid and efficient, usage of the Pelebox also helps to increase their adherence to medicine, and thus supports South Africa's achievement of the second and third '90s' of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets.
HST assessed several potential Pelebox sites according to Technovera's criteria for installation − which include an undercover area with minimal exposure to the weather, an electrical power source, Internet connectivity, interoperability with existing CCMDD systems, and proper drainage for the cooling system. HST has installed Peleboxes at Prince Cyril Zulu Communicable Disease Centre, Savannah Park Clinic, Mzamo Clinic, Chesterville Clinic and Umlazi N Clinic in the eThekwini District of KwaZulu-Natal.
What's inside the lockers?
The lockers contain CCMDD-registered patients' medicine parcels packaged in brown boxes.
What type of medicines are offered through the CCMDD Programme?
The programme offers medicines that are prescribed for all types of chronic conditions.
Who can choose the Pelebox?
Any patient who is registered on the CCMDD Programme can choose the Pelebox as a collection-point option. The patient must have a cellphone number or access to a cellphone number through which to receive an SMS that provides him or her with a one-time Personal Identification Number (PIN).
When can a patient come to the Pelebox to collect a parcel?
If the Peleboxes are stationed outside the clinic, they are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At some clinics, the Peleboxes are installed inside the clinic and are accessible only during the clinic's hours of operation.
What happens if a patient loses his or her one-time PIN?
The patient can access the locker with his or her 13-digit ID Number and cellphone number. The patient can also request the system to resend the PIN.
What happens if the locker does not open?
The patient should enter the clinic and ask for the help of the Pharmacist Assistant.
Does the Pelebox system allow the patient to update his or her cellphone number when collections are made?
Yes, it does.
What is Health Systems Trust?
Health Systems Trust is a non-government organisation that supports health systems in partnership with the Department of Health to improve public health patients' experience of service delivery.
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