Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Chief of Drugs and Pharmaceutical Services Mrs. Gracia Wheatley-Smith is urging residents to take the necessary precautions to safeguard their medicines this hurricane season.
Mrs. Wheatley-Smith said there is a lot to be learnt from the impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria with regards to the importance of securing medicines.
She said, “While persons are preparing their homes and disaster kits in preparation for a hurricane impact, patients should also examine their medicine supply. It is also imperative that they know the medicines they take by name, strength, dosage and frequency and make a note of this information which should be kept secure in the event of an emergency.”
The Chief said persons should be aware of what they have to do to secure their medicines before, during and after the impact of a hurricane and should have at least one extra month’s supply of medicines including asthmatics who should refill their inhalers before an impact.
“The memory of Hurricane Irma is still on our minds,” she said, adding, “we saw how users of pharmaceuticals were impacted. There were long lines and limited amounts of medicines being dispensed. Therefore it is imperative that persons move to secure their medicines beforehand.”
Parents are asked to stock pile a sufficient amount of fever reducing and pain relieving medicines for children. They are also urged to request that medicines be dispensed in containers with the amber screw top or snap lid to keep them secure in the event of exposure to heavy rain or flood.
Mrs. Wheatley Smith said persons should take their medicines with them in the event that they may have to evacuate their homes. She said medicines should be placed in zip-locked plastic bags and kept away from potential flood areas.
Insulin users are also advised that their medication should be kept in the refrigerator as long as it remains cool. In the event that the electricity is turned off, the medication is to be removed and stored away from any heat generating appliance.
Persons can contact the Chief of Drugs and Pharmaceutical Services at telephone 468-9850 for more information on securing medicines during the hurricane season.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to enabling effective use and management of medicines.