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If the doctors determine that a child needs medication, they write a prescription and send the child to the room next door (sometimes to the other side of a tarp dividing the room) to get what they need. We bring boxes of medication packed by Health Partners International and sponsored for this mission by Merck Canada and our generous donors. Each box contains a variety of medications and vitamins for children, and some things for adults, which we can donate to local clinics. We also supplement these provisions with additional medications that we know children in Lempira usually need--such as Ventolin, aerochambers for inhalers, Zithromax, Flagyl, and Septra. Many children here suffer from respitory illness and also infectious colitis, and that is when all these medications come in handy. And that is not counting in Combatrin, which is necessary for deparasitation.
When the parents arrive with the prescriptions for their children, Esther and Danielle find and prepare the medications and/or vitamins. Vitamins are an important part of the program because so many children in the area are malnourished and would benefit strongly from these supplements.
After the medication is prepared, Esther or Danielle explains to each parent in Spanish how to give the medication to the child. Sometimes they also give the child the first dose to demonstrate how it's done. This is especially important for the children with respiratory conditions that require aerochambers. Occasionally, we will also do cauterizations for chronic nose bleeds, clean and dress wounds, and even treat warts. Being in the pharmacy is rewarding because that's where the children get the relief they desperately need.
Every day, we come in, lay out the medications, and then repack everything at the end of the day. The goal is to give, free of charge, the medication which are needed to as many children as possible. At the end of the trip, our local partners will be able to redistribute the medication to health centres around the province which need them the most.
Tomorrow is a new day! Hopefully the ride this time will not be as bumpy and frightening as today.
Hasta mañana amigos!