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HomeNewsArchivesGRANT WILL PROVIDE MEDICINE FOR TB PATIENTS

GRANT WILL PROVIDE MEDICINE FOR TB PATIENTS

Nov. 28, 2001 – A grant to the V.I. Health Department through the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands will allow purchase of medicine for infectious tuberculosis patients in the territory.
CFVI's grant of $1,069 will enable the Health Department to buy bulk quantities of four tuberculosis medications, building a supply that can be used over long periods of time, according to a release from the foundation.
The medication will be given to indigent adult patients with active tuberculosis and to children who have been exposed to the disease but do not yet show signs of illness. It will be available for patients and exposed children throughout the territory.
Drug manufacturer VersaPharm has agreed to sell the medication to the Virgin Islands at a greatly reduced rate.
Staff at the Health Department requested assistance from the Community Foundation because the local government does not budget money for medicine for tuberculosis. Federal funds cannot be used to buy drugs to treat tuberculosis, according to Megan Anderson, the department's TB coordinator.
TB patients in the Virgin Islands are required to buy their own medication, which is quite costly, Anderson said. The first two months of tuberculosis treatment for an individual costs approximately $600 per month. Subsequent treatments cost $125 each month, Anderson said. The average length of treatment for tuberculosis varies from nine months to two years.
Infectious tuberculosis is on the rise in the Virgin Islands, according to the Health Department. In 2000 the department had only two cases between all the islands. In 2001 the number had climbed to 15 by Nov 28.
"Out of the past 14 cases, only two patients had insurance," Anderson said. "The others were indigent and unable to purchase their medication. This is a great hardship that puts our entire community at risk."
The John P. deJongh Sr. Hospital Fund, one of 24 named funds under the CFVI umbrella, is paying for the Health Department's purchase of the tuberculosis medication.
The deJongh fund was established at the Community Foundation by the family and friends of John Percy deJongh, Sr. to honor his memory and to assist the territory with needs related to public health and the hospitals.
"My family created this fund to ensure that all Virgin Islanders would have access to the kind of quality care my dad received during his illness," said John deJongh, Jr. "This purchase of tuberculosis medication will fill a major gap in our medical system, and give indigent patients access to life-saving drugs."
Previously monies from the deJongh fund have been used to purchase a VCR for the Pediatric Unit at Roy Lester Schneider Hospital, and air mattresses for bedridden clients of Human Services.
The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands was established in 1990 to serve the children and families of the Virgin Islands. The foundation has more than 20 funds created by individuals and businesses to support educational, environmental, social and cultural initiatives in the Virgin Islands.

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Nov. 28, 2001 - A grant to the V.I. Health Department through the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands will allow purchase of medicine for infectious tuberculosis patients in the territory.
CFVI's grant of $1,069 will enable the Health Department to buy bulk quantities of four tuberculosis medications, building a supply that can be used over long periods of time, according to a release from the foundation.
The medication will be given to indigent adult patients with active tuberculosis and to children who have been exposed to the disease but do not yet show signs of illness. It will be available for patients and exposed children throughout the territory.
Drug manufacturer VersaPharm has agreed to sell the medication to the Virgin Islands at a greatly reduced rate.
Staff at the Health Department requested assistance from the Community Foundation because the local government does not budget money for medicine for tuberculosis. Federal funds cannot be used to buy drugs to treat tuberculosis, according to Megan Anderson, the department's TB coordinator.
TB patients in the Virgin Islands are required to buy their own medication, which is quite costly, Anderson said. The first two months of tuberculosis treatment for an individual costs approximately $600 per month. Subsequent treatments cost $125 each month, Anderson said. The average length of treatment for tuberculosis varies from nine months to two years.
Infectious tuberculosis is on the rise in the Virgin Islands, according to the Health Department. In 2000 the department had only two cases between all the islands. In 2001 the number had climbed to 15 by Nov 28.
"Out of the past 14 cases, only two patients had insurance," Anderson said. "The others were indigent and unable to purchase their medication. This is a great hardship that puts our entire community at risk."
The John P. deJongh Sr. Hospital Fund, one of 24 named funds under the CFVI umbrella, is paying for the Health Department's purchase of the tuberculosis medication.
The deJongh fund was established at the Community Foundation by the family and friends of John Percy deJongh, Sr. to honor his memory and to assist the territory with needs related to public health and the hospitals.
"My family created this fund to ensure that all Virgin Islanders would have access to the kind of quality care my dad received during his illness," said John deJongh, Jr. "This purchase of tuberculosis medication will fill a major gap in our medical system, and give indigent patients access to life-saving drugs."
Previously monies from the deJongh fund have been used to purchase a VCR for the Pediatric Unit at Roy Lester Schneider Hospital, and air mattresses for bedridden clients of Human Services.
The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands was established in 1990 to serve the children and families of the Virgin Islands. The foundation has more than 20 funds created by individuals and businesses to support educational, environmental, social and cultural initiatives in the Virgin Islands.