Spotlight on students with asthma

Press Release:-January 26, 2017 – The OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (OECS/PPS) is exploring ways to enhance students’ health beyond its mandate of procuring medicines and medical supplies for OECS Member States.

 In fulfilling this goal, OECS-PPS has planned a workshop for 25 teachers of the Gordon and Walcott Memorial Methodist School who will receive information and practical training on “Asthma and helping students cope with Asthma.”  

The training session will be held at the OECS Commission, Morne Fortune, from 9:00 a.m. on Friday 27th January 2017.  It will be facilitated by Head of OECS-PPS, Francis Burnett.

Speaking on this collaborative venture, Mr. Burnett said: “We selected asthma because it is the most common chronic non-communicable disease in children.  This workshop is a component of PPS’ outreach program to strengthen the link between health and education. Moreover, this initiative will complement the work of PPS to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable students”.  

The workshop will focus on identifying symptoms of worsening asthma, explain how anti-asthmatic medicines work, and how to manage common triggers of asthma. Teachers will also learn the correct techniques of using asthma devices, such as, metered dose inhalers and peak flow meters.

With the increasing prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases in the region, availability and access to medicines and health supplies is paramount in ensuring the delivery of quality health care.

The procurement of medicines within the OECS, historically posed unique challenges, given the small populations and the lack of bargaining power of individual Member States.  PPS has circumvented these challenges and leveraged its comparative advantage to reduce the price of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for OECS Member States.