Tuesday, April 14, 2015

More Progress

I've been working in Bangladesh for a year and a half.  When I first arrived, it was impossible to prescribe morphine for children here.  Then I started being able to prescribe sustained release tablets, but these tablets were only available in one dose, which was quite large, making it very difficult to give doses which are appropriate for kids.  These weren't available at my hospital, so the patient would have to travel across the city to another hospital to actually get the tablets.

Last year, Unimed (a local pharmaceutical company) started making rapid acting tablets, these are the type of morphine which are supposed to be used when a patient is prescribed morphine for the first time.  This was a step in the right direction, but still the tablets were only available in one strength (10mg) which meant that it I was always cutting the tablets in half.  In really small kids, even half a tablet was too large of a dose.

Finally in the past few weeks, oral morphine syrup has started to be available.  This is perfect for children.  I can easily adjust the dose to a child's weight.  Yesterday, I was able to provide pain relief for a small baby, who was only 10kg.  It would have been impossible to treat this little boy's pain without morphine syrup.

Last Thursday, while I was working on the ward, several boxes full of morphine arrived from Unimed.  This morphine will be kept in the ward dispensary where we can quickly dispense it to children who are having pain.  If children are going home, we can send them home with enough for a couple of weeks and then they can easily come back to get more.

It's a big step towards making sure that kids with pain get treatment.

Big smile on my face, morphine syrup is finally here!

One of several boxes that was delivered last week!

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