"We have to try and do the best we can with what we have.”

 

Joyce, 37, gave birth in the summer of 2019 and brought her baby daughter – Rose – to the clinic on her bicycle. Still tiny, Rose had been coughing and sneezing and was running a temperature.

In the clinic, a nurse used a stethoscope to listen to her lungs and heart and measured her temperature with an ear thermometer donated by our corporate partner Janssen. Her mother, Joyce, was given a prescription for amoxicillin (antibiotic) syrup and paracetamol and told that if Rose didn’t improve in a couple of days, she should take her to hospital.

When we met Joyce, she was in the pharmacy, picking up amoxicillin syrup donated through IHP. But there was a problem – the pharmacy had no paracetamol suitable for children. Instead, the assistant cut adult tablets into pieces and asked Joyce to feed this to Rose a little at a time.

“I know it’s not perfect, and we don’t want to be giving adult medicines to children,” the assistant told us, “but when the alternative is to not treat them at all, what do you do? We make difficult decisions every day. It is a balancing act, and we have to try and do the best we can with what we have.”

 

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