Living almost a year into the covid-19 pandemic, we valued health better than ever. We have all recognized not only the need for access to health at national and global level, but also the need to support those most affected, including older people, our grandparents.
Nevertheless, in Greece, every year, it is estimated that 34.000.000 packs of unused medicine expire in the households and end up in the trash while at the same time 23% of the population is at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
The need to support vulnerable groups preceded the pandemic, and this very need was called upon to be covered by GIVMED, a Greek non-profit organization that ensures access to medicines for socially vulnerable groups. GIVMED’s mission is to avoid pharmaceutical waste and improve access to medicine for vulnerable groups, in particular older people. It was founded in 2016 and to date has saved medicines with a total value of almost 2,000,000 euros through a network of 145 public benefit organizations-donation points. Utilizing technology, it coordinates donations of surplus medicines from individuals, health care companies and among its network partners. Its action focuses on the pharmaceutical needs, but also on informing and sensitizing civil society about access to medicines and the environmental impact resulting from the mismanagement of medicine surplus.
A video of GIVMED’s action is available here.
As of 2018, GIVMED’s network includes 33 non-profit nursing and retirement homes allover Greece with a total of 1,600 beneficiaries. To date, these facilities have received 60,000 boxes of medicines, with a total value of 250,000 euros, covering their monthly needs by 20%. During the pandemic, essential medical supplies (masks, gloves, antiseptics) worth a total of 65,000 euros were donated to protect the older population and nursing home health professionals. It was of equal importance for GIVMED to cover the needs of the nursing homes of the Greek islands where access to sanitary material was even more challenging.
"You are all a wonderful team with understanding, patience and desire to help us in any difficulty we face. This program is a helping hand for our facilities and we thank you very much for being by our side in these difficult times we are going through", says a nurse in a nursing home in Crete.
For more information on GIVMED work, visit their website.
If you want to support GIVMED, you can make a financial donation here (donations in kind concern exclusively medicines manufactured in Greece).