New medicine dispensing model a hit in Mpumalanga

Author: Cynthia Maseko 

Source: Health-e News

The new, recently introduced Central Chronic Medicines Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) programme for patients on antiretrovirals and other chronic medication has already proven to be a major benefit.

People with chronic illness are speaking highly about the programme that enables them to collect their medication without visiting public facilities and spending time in long queues.

The Gert Sibande District in Mpumalanga has been implementing NHI programs since 2011, but the new CCMDD programme has been hailed as the best by most clients. It is aimed at reducing the number of clients flocking to clinics and hospitals, and reducing patient waiting times.

The programme makes use of private pharmacy outlets as the pick-up points for chronic medication, with the main objective being to improve access to antiretrovirals and chronic medicines for stable patients reliant on the public healthcare sector in South Africa.

No more defaulting

Patient Gloria Shabangu of Ermelo said: “Before the CCMDD implementation, with my hours at work, I use to pay people to collect my medication at the clinic. But sometime the nurses would refuse to allow this and if that would happen I would sometimes go days without medication. This has caused me to default twice but now, with the CCMDD programme the defaulting days are over. I don’t stress myself anymore because my time is flexible and it takes less than 20 minutes for me to get to a Clicks pharmacy to collect my ART and go back to work.”

Patients visiting pharmacies for their medication find their treatment programme easier to manage, there are no queues and they no longer have to wait four hours or more just to be served.

“With this CCMDD we no long have to stress about running out of medication,” said Phindile Msizi.

Vusi Buthelezi, another patient on the programme, said he now only has to visit his clinic once every five months for a blood test to check his CD4 count and viral load.

“I can confidently say NHI is working in the Gert Sibande District,” he said.