Free pharmacy gastric checks for kids extended

A free service for children to be assessed for gastroenteritis in pharmacies has been extended for three more years.

The contract was signed this week for MidCentral Pharmacy Group to continue the paediatric gastroenteritis service provided by many of the MidCentral district's pharmacies.

Pharmacy Group chairwoman Clare Hynd said pharmacists were pleased that the MidCentral District Health Board saw the benefits of the service and was funding its continuation.

"The use of the service continues to grow, providing prompt treatment of gastroenteritis which can greatly reduce the dehydration caused and therefore the number of children needing to go to the emergency department," she said.

The service allows accredited pharmacists to assess children aged 3 to 15 suffering from gastroenteritis. The child must be present in a participating pharmacy for an accredited pharmacist to assess the child and provide rehydration advice and an oral rehydration chart free of charge to allow children with gastroenteritis to be rehydrated in their own home.

Children with severe dehydration will be referred for further medical care.

A total of 29 pharmacies in the MidCentral region have an agreement to provide the service.

Manawatu Standard