Friday, October 7, 2011

Joyfest links pills to the poor

Oct 8th, Jamshedpur (The Telegraph): To mark Joy of Giving Week, hosted by XLRI, a Jamshedpur-based NGO has taken the onus of collecting medicines and distributing them among the underprivileged.

The organisation, Cause for a Change, initiated the innovative community drug take-back programme on Sunday at the East Singhbhum district civil surgeon’s office. It will be collecting unused medicines within their expiry dates and then distribute them to those in need.

This is an addition to Joyfest, based on the premise that most middle class homes have unused medicines lying at home.

Volunteers roped in for this drive showed great imagination by linking Durga Puja festivities with the medicine collection drive. Besides door-to-door collection, medicine drop-boxes were also kept at 15 community Puja pandals of Jamshedpur.

Eleven Baridih High School students and 14 other volunteers have already collected 10 cartons of medicines.

“The cartons will be sent to government hospitals, private nursing homes and primary health centres in rural areas. Prohibitive cost of drugs is often the reason why healthcare is the last priority of the poor,” said NGO member Joydip Paul.

“Volunteers need to be careful. I’ve instructed them not to use opened or used medicines, which may be contaminated,” said district civil surgeon Vibha Sharan.

Registered pharmacists from her office will help the NGO to pick medicines that may be used.

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