Those taking medication warned to take precaution this festive season
With Christmas fast approaching, Saint Lucia’s public health department has come out in full force warning persons with chronic illnesses not to forsake their medication as wellness centres across the country will be closed on Christmas, Christmas holiday, New Year’s Day and the holiday following.
The department is pleading with those persons and others with health issues to pay attention to the health issues they are battling while feting and having a good time.
“We recognized, as pharmacists, during the festive season, there is a culture of ignoring your medicine in order to enjoy yourself,” said Pharmacist Karen Moonie Weekes of the Pharmacy Services.
Underscoring the need to take medication as prescribed Weekes said going against the prescribed way could only worsen one’s condition and lead to serious health consequences.
Assistant Principal Nursing Officer in the Ministry of Health Julietta Frederick-Cassius called on persons with chronic illnesses to refill their prescription before Christmas, emphasizing that wellness centres closure during the holidays.
“We are aware that during the festive season some persons may tend not to visit their facilities for care. We would like to remind the public that all wellness centres will continue service for the season except on the public holidays,” she said.
Medical Surveillance Officer, Epidemiology Unit, Ministry of Health Glensford Joseph, said that over the past 10 years there has been a steady increase in gastroenteritis between January and March with the numbers falling in April.
He called on Saint Lucians to exercise cleanliness by washing their hands with soap. He wants Saint Lucians to adopt a handwashing culture where they would wash their hands with soap before preparing meals and before eating, and after visiting the toilet.
Ernie Pierre of the Environmental Unit of the Ministry of Health is warning against the purchase of expired food items especially canned foods without labels and those that are damaged and have sharp dents. Foods close to the expiry dates, if purchased in large amounts, should be avoided.
He advised against keeping temperature sensitive foods for a long time in the trunk of a vehicle as the foods could become poisonous if microorganisms grow on them.
Joanna Joseph of the Substance Abuse Unit warns against binge drinking, saying it leads people into states of mind they don’t usually anticipate.
“If you’re going out to party it’s important that you leave your home with a full stomach. Don’t leave hungry. Or before you drink, ensure that you are full because it will slow down the digestion of alcohol as what causes intoxication is too much alcohol in the system,” she said.