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‘The Pharmacy Rehydration Initiative.’ A welcome relief for General Practice

Updated: Aug 10, 2021


Tuesday 10 August 2021

Whanganui Pharmacies in partnership with the Whanganui District Health Board have banded together and developed a progressive health initiative aimed at preventing unnecessary hospital admissions for our vulnerable tamariki.

The Pharmacy Childhood Rehydration Initiative aims to provide families with information and medication to help when their little ones get an upset tummy, vomiting or diarrhoea.

Children can get dehydrated very quickly when they have an upset tummy, often resulting in visits to the doctor or admission into hospital. The new initiative aims to reduce visits to general practice by providing instant access to information and rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte.

“Dehydration in children is a common presentation at medical centres, so we are aiming to provide families with the right advice and early treatment to help children recover,” says Gonville Health Pharmacist Leighton Souness. “This initiative is an example of how we can not only reinforce the worth of the pharmacy within our communities, but also alleviate the stress on general practice.”

Gastroenteritis and dehydration is the third-highest ambulatory care-sensitive condition within the Whanganui District, with hospitalisation rates highest for Māori and Pasifika children. Giving Pedialyte or even just water in a quantity of 1ml per kg every 5 minutes can mean that the child can be on the road to recovery within a few hours.

The new rehydration initiative is available from 1 August 2021 to all children aged three months to 15 years. This service is free and is available at any Pharmacy in Whanganui District Health Board region including the rural areas i.e. Marton, Bulls, Taihape, and Ohakune.

Essential information about how to treat Tummy Bugs (Gastroenteritis) is available at your local pharmacy, Early Childhood Centres, Kōhanga Reo, and Schools. Plunket and Tamariki Ora will also have information.


Media Contact: Arareina Davis +64 27 302 2423


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