COVID-19 Affects Access to Chronic Disease Patient’s Medication

Program Update from AVODEC, Esperança’s partner in Nicaragua: We continue to provide quality attention to the impoverished communities of the municipality, la Dalia, which at this time we have coordinated with the Hospital to donate and provide a portion of medications for chronic patients, all thanks to the unconditional support of Esperança.

Epilepsy is a disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures. The condition effects roughly 65 million people worldwide, but with the proper medication, diet, and lifestyle, epilepsy can be a manageable condition.

Avisath Castro Perez was diagnosed with epilepsy and a mental behavioral disorder as secondary condition almost five years ago at her local health post in La Dalia, Nicaragua. At just 24 years of age, she depends heavily on a daily medication regiment in order to keep up with her household responsibilities and care for her five-year-old daughter.

Avisath relies on the availability of medication at her local health post. She does not have a primary care provider, and the medication is not distributed at any pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription.

Unfortunately, when the breadth of the COVID-19 pandemic reached her rural Nicaraguan town, the health post could no longer receive regular supply deliveries, including Avisath’s medication.

Just like that, Avisath went 15 days without her medication. She suffered from frequent convulsions and was forced to quit her job. Since she could not go to work outside her home, Avisath moved in with her parents and focused on caring for her daughter with caution.

“I know it is dangerous and that I have to take care of myself, but I am poor and I cannot afford the costs of treatment.”

Avisath first heard about Esperança’s medication donation program from a local radio announcement. She was ecstatic to hear that medications would be available at her local hospital to all with chronic conditions – without a primary care physician. In just 24 hours Esperança’s team was able to provide her with the medications needed to stabilize her seizures.

Even better, Esperança is scheduled to make regular deliveries to La Dalia Regional Hospital through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving peace of mind to 300 chronic disease patients just like Avisath.

“What a beautiful gesture on behalf of Esperança to donate these types of medicines for patients with chronic illnesses to thus achieve better health. Thanks to these medicines and to all those who made these donations possible.”

Read more about Esperança’s international COVID-19 efforts here.