People living with diabetes in Dominica have been given a donation of insulin from the St Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association (SLDHA).
The organisation made the gesture of 500 vials of insulin as part of recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria struck in September, severely damaging public health infrastructure.
Through a partnership with Tenacia Global and the St Lucia Public Health Diabetes Project, the association handed over the donation earlier this month in Dominica’s capital, Roseau.
“Thousands of Dominicans remain without electricity, following the monster storm. For many people with Diabetes, this means their insulin supplies, which require refrigeration, had to be discarded,” a press release from the SLDHA said.
Health officials say it is a timely donation, the organisation added.
Jasmine Lambert, Supplies Manager at the Central Medical Stores, said: “In the public system, insulin is free to the patients. The pharmacists make requisitions and we distribute to local pharmacies based on those requests.
“So, the insulin is not going to be sold. It is going to be free of charge to the people of Dominica. A lot of patients lost their medication during the storm and others had to dispose of them in the days and weeks after. This donation will go a long way, at a time of increased demand.”
One of Dominica’s longest serving pharmacies, Jolly’s, is charged with dispensing the medication.
The pharmacy’s representative Malcolm Pendenque says the insulin will go to those who need it most and managed through an efficient distribution system.
“Our sole role is distribution. We are going to do it via prescription, to avoid any confusion. We are happy to partner with the St Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association to make this possible.
“Since Hurricane Maria, it has been challenging to store and secure Insulin, but we are getting there and this donation will bring significant relief to patients.”