TELEMEDICINE HELP LINE
During the last community transmission in 2020 there was a national lockdown and services were focused on Covid-19 measures. Many NCD programs and services were neglected. This resulted in many adverse effects in our patients with Chronic Diseases. There was a rise in severe foot problems, poor blood glucose control due to patients running out of medications and not attending clinics. There was also a lack of awareness regarding proper foot care at home. Accessibility to medications, healthy foods, physical activity modalities was limited. There was an increase in anxiety and stress leading to mental health issues and complications of chronic diseases during this outbreak period.
It is also important to stress that the most vulnerable for disease complications and mortality from COVID 19 and its variants are those suffering from chronic disease conditions. Therefore it is pertinent that there is a continuity of care for chronic diseases during outbreak periods. As the nation endures the second phase of community transmission the lesson learned from last year will help to improve our approach and ensure that we continue to align to Covid-19 safety measures.
With the support of FRIEND Fiji, Diabetes Fiji Inc and the Ministry of Health and Medical Service with MSP and Fiji Cancer Society established the telemedicine Helpline (165) for people in the Central Division
Provide continuous optimum care for people living with chronic disease conditions, who are attending government healthcare facilities during this pandemic.
- To assist SOPD patients who are unable to access government facility services due to closure of nearby health facilities, lockdown or other restrictions in movements to access chronic disease services virtually.
- To assist SOPD patients, unable to access government facility services due to closure of nearby health facilities, lockdown or other restrictions in movements to access medication replenishment.
- Assist the SOPD patients access other health clinics where their respective health facility is temporarily closed due to contamination.
- To provide a hotline for patient management for those living with chronic disease and
- Ensure the availability of essential medications.
- Provide online management of foot sepsis/foot care
- Manage logistics for emergency medications supply
- Arrangement of emergency referrals as required.
- Continue to provide advice and support through virtual medium platform.
- Link every health facility to a common medium platform of communication to ensure medications are supplemented from various clinics with proper control mechanism to avoid double dispensing and mitigate low drug stocks.
- Reduce the risk of health care providers from the virus by minimizing physical contact with SOPD patients.
The helpline assisted many Fijians to access their medication seek counseling and necessary referral for those needing further intervention. The three NGOs provided home delivery of medication for people living in containment zones, home isolation, and those outside the borders.