Indies Pharma reaches out to the most needy
Some 8,000 indigent patients - many living below the poverty line - with non-communicable diseases are to receive free medication courtesy of locally based pharmaceutical company Indies Pharma.
The company has donated medications valued at $500,000 to the Hope Teaching Health Clinic and has committed to providing a lifetime supply to the clinic.
The clinic, located in St James, treats thousands of patients afflicted with the two major causes of premature deaths in Jamaica, diabetes and hypertension, in addition to several other illnesses.
"We have sponsored medications that are vital to the treatment and control of these various illnesses," Indies Pharma's resident pharmacist, Ebany Montique-Gayle, told The Gleaner during the handover session for the first set of medication, which included pro-circulatory, anti-respiratory, anti-hypertensive, and anti-diabetic medication as well as cold and cough remedies.
Mother Joy, of the Compassionate Franciscan Sisters of the Poor and director of the Hope Teaching Health Clinic, expressed gratitude for the donation. She said that since the institution did not charge registration fees to indigent patients or those regarded as charity cases, the donation would go a far way in offsetting the cost of operating the facility.
"All this medication will actually benefit our indigent patients who cannot afford medicines. We will be supplying them with medication, especially those with chronic illnesses, and also children that come here for acute ailments and cannot afford medication also," she explained.
The Hope Teaching Health Clinic has been in existence since 1975. The new Good Shepherd Medical Centre, which is annexed to it, was opened in October last year. Approximately 30 per cent of the estimated 25,000 patients who are provided with treatment and care at the facility are indigent.
According to Mother Joy, the common cases that show up at the facility are diabetes, hypertension, skin diseases, respiratory infections, and sexually transmitted infections.
"We have committed on paper for $500,000.00 per year, but we know that we are going to give more than that as time goes by," Montique-Gayle said.