On World Diabetes Day this Thursday 14 November, members of the Independent Community Pharmacy Association (ICPA) will be offering free diabetes screenings combined with a referral and follow-up service to optimise health outcomes.
“Last year our pharmacies screened almost 50 000 patients, collecting extremely valuable data and in the process, helped many people who were not aware of their condition. Overall, our findings confirmed that diabetes is a serious health priority which requires urgent action,” says Jackie Maimin, ICPA’s CEO. “As professionals at the coalface, we’re happy to play a role in identifying high risk patients and advising or referring these patients.”
One of every three patients screened tested as high risk, with nearly 18% of the tested patients referred to their doctor for further assessment. “Unfortunately we have no idea whether these patients visited their doctor or not and what the outcome was,” says Jackie.
This year, participating ICPA pharmacies will ensure that there is follow-through on high risk patients, whether that’s seeing a doctor or receiving guidelines to make lifestyle changes. “We will be working closely with fellow healthcare professionals to ensure better patient outcomes.”
As the largest pharmacy network in South Africa, ICPA pharmacies are in an ideal position to deliver effective results. The combination of the ICPA’s national footprint and clinic services offered makes a national diabetes screening of this nature possible. “By improving the diabetes campaign’s follow up process, independent community pharmacies can help to reduce the huge cost burden on national healthcare,” adds Jackie.
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