Even on Horseback, they Deliver Medicines in Upala, Costa Rica!

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    The pharmacy technicians of the Upala Health and Hospital Service, who are dedicated to delivering medicines to patients in the community resort to all possible transportation alternatives to fulfill their daily mission, from walking, riding in vehicles and even on horseback.

    Juan Diego NúñezMejías, 38 years old and with seven of service in the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) is one of the four workers who leave very early every day to bring treatments to high-risk people, on time, in the homes of the patients from the Alajuelense canton.

    This week Juan Diego managed to reach the families thanks to his good physical condition for walking, an INA vehicle and a horse that they loaned him in the area to fulfill the purpose of leaving the medicines in the hands of the patients.

    “This work is very emotional; Going to a community in the interior of Upala and seeing a child or an older person with medicines in their hands is gratifying and satisfying. At that moment one feels that it was worth to walk, get on a horse, cross a hammock bridge or cross the river on a log”, expressed Juan Diego Núñez.

    The other companions of Juan Diego, and who also manage to fulfill their objective are AndreyHerra Segura, FredyCajina and José Luis Ruiz Quirós. They find no limits when it comes to delivering dialysis pills, cough syrups, skin creams, insulin, and serums to seniors, children, and high-risk patients. “Our goal is to deliver the medicines to the users at any time and in time so that they never stop their treatments and stay compensated.

    Why do we travel up to 300 kilometers a day to fulfill the mission?

    Because we prefer to get on a horse, walk through the most complicated streets and soak ourselves in sweat and rain instead of having the insured do it. It is a job we do out of love, out of vocation,”said Juan Diego, an official from Bijagua de Upala.

    Among the communities that workers visit daily are: Dos Ríos, San Luis, Bracilia, La Victoria, San Ramón, Jomuza and El Delirio, all communities that are between three and five hours from the center of Upala.

    Details of Juan Diego Nuñez’s work

    How many families visit each day together?

    “On average and among the four companions we can visit 80 families per day. It varies a lot according to the distance, weather conditions and the type of road”.

    What time do they start with the routes and what time do they return home?

    “Our time of entry is at 7:00 a.m. but at 6:30 in the morning we almost always are already going out to meet our goal. Many times it gets dark far from home because we are delayed”.

    How do they assist each other in terms of food?

     “We have lunch when we can and where we can. What I always do is take a thermos with coffee and a couple of cookies because sometimes there is nowhere to eat”.

    Communication with patients during delivery?

    “It is a great struggle because sometimes we do not have a signal, our phones are discharged and it is important that people know that we use our own phones and each other’s data. As the places are so distant, it is necessary to make up to 30 calls a day to locate and get to the door of the house, the corral or the farm where the patients are waiting for us”.

    Dr. Andrés Ávila Barboza, general director of the Upala health and hospital area, values ​​the efforts of his colleagues from the Pharmacy and entrusts them to God every time they undertake their trips to deliver well-being.

    “This shows the great commitment that each of the officials has and in this case especially the Pharmacy staff. In order to take the medications to the patient and reduce the risk of users leaving their homes and going to the establishments, they do whatever is necessary to fulfill the purpose,”said Dr. Ávila.

    The direct population attached to the Upala health and hospital Service is 55,000 people. Dr. Mario Felipe Ruiz Cubillo, medical manager of the CCSS highlighted the work of these dedicated Social Security workers and also recognized the contribution of some sister institutions such as the INA, UCR, the Judiciary and others that support the idea of ​​bringing the medicines to the homes of Costa Ricans in many parts of the country.

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