It is our third week of hosting the #diabetes helpline. One clear message is that access to #insulin and other supplies are problematic in the public sector for those with #type1diabetes or #type2diabetes.

Insulin is injected and must be administered as prescribed and on time. Skipping doses or cutting back can have fatal consequences within a short time. The chronic neglect of #NCDs in the South African public health sector means that inulin is seldom available at a primary health care clinic. Meaning one has to go to a higher level of care to get supplies. This means a trip to a community health centre or hospital. Let’s just make it difficult for diabetics.

For the patient, this involves greater risks of lengthy taxi trips and waiting periods in crowded hospitals. What a way to treat people with pre-existing “underlying” health problems! Also known as #NCDs ! We are at the greatest risk of dying from severe #covid19 illness.

I am in awe of the creative ways that our empowered patients are getting medicines without standing in queues or travelling for a day. Pure survival instincts at work. We salute the private #phamacies that filled prescriptions in the national lockdown. And then, there are the unsung heroes who shared their meds because they know what happens if … #equity

The National Department of Health’s central chronic medicines dispensing and distribution programme, #CCMDD, must be urgently extended to all common #NCDs including insulin. For over a year we have asked the statistics for NCDs medicines supply using CCMDD. #transparency #equity #accountability

What does proof of concept for CCMDD NCDs look like? A verifiable table showing:

  • NCDs conditions treated
  • NCDs medicines and supplies formulary
  • Clinics and district involved
  • The number of NCDs patients registered by the clinic.
  • Timelines for full rollout.

Insulin is at the top of that list. We are still waiting. #COVID19 pandemic shows just why the health systems strengthening goes beyond #TB and #HIV