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The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) recently announced that Malaysia will  experience continuous heavy rainfall from mid-November, leading to probable major flash floods in  several states, and the monsoon season will last until early next year.
Alpro Pharmacy, Malaysia’s largest prescription pharmacy chain, would like to outline several  precautionary measures for residents in flood-prone areas, from a community pharmacist’s point of  view, to proactively mitigate flood damages ahead of the period and in the aftermath. 

Prior to a flood: 

• Closely monitor your surroundings and to stay up to date on weather forecasts and  warnings. 

• Assemble disaster supplies including long-term medications and first aid kits in  water-proof bags in case of evacuation.  

• Patients, especially the elderly, with chronic diseases, are advised to visit their nearest  pharmacy along with their chronic medications in order to keep a record in the pharmacy  and have an up-to-date medication list.  

Patients who have lost their hard-copy prescription and are facing difficulty retrieving their medication  list will benefit from storing their medication history at their nearest community pharmacy. Chronic  medications, in particular, require compliance and consistency for an optimal health outcome.  

In the aftermath of a flood: 

Due to poor sanitation and hygiene in flood areas, they could be catalysts for flood-borne diseases such  as Leptospirosis, Cholera, and Dengue fever. Flood survivors should keep an eye out for general  symptoms such as fever, headache, diarrhoea, muscle aches, and vomiting to help identify possible  infections. In the case of any such symptoms, please visit the nearest healthcare centres immediately. 
For those who had their chronic medication contaminated or washed away by the flood, Alpro  provides a one-time supply for up to seven days for free. Communities affected by the flood can visit any  of the 200 Alpro Pharmacy outlets nationwide to speak to the pharmacists for more details. A police  report copy of the flooding is required for verification purposes. 
The free medication and medical assistance are initiatives under the Life-saving Medication Care  Programme – a long-standing commitment by Alpro and DOC2US to provide healthcare support to  communities affected by natural disasters. 
As a precaution, the public is welcome to save the phone number of our Customer Care Line 019-612  9006 for further advice and support. Alternatively, you may reach our professional pharmacist via the  e-pharmacy WhatsApp hotline at 019-702 1923.  
Stay dry, stay safe. 

Lim En Ni is the Chief Pharmacist and Director of Engagement, Alpro Pharmacy Group.

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