The Palliative Care Centre, University of the University of the Witwatersrand

The Palliative Care Centre, University of the University of the Witwatersrand



we're losing a generation of young people mainly due to hiv/aids death from AIDS if not a simple you know I get AIDS I die research has shown that there's at least 90 days of severe pain for over 80% of people with HIV there's not only affects the patient it affects all of those around them who are caring for them but the effect of having to care with somebody who's suffering who's suffering can very easily be ameliorated with palliative care drugs and finally now I'm messing patients that have been told that they have incurable diseases it is a quite a different field and very difficult field because most of the patients including their families at the event vulnerable stage when they know that the condition they have is incurable it is quite difficult for a health professional because you then have to deal with all their problems from the ten days that had been in hoping that they will be cured and now you have to tell them that this is an incredible disease on the other hand it is quite a fulfilling job in that you know for a fact that even though that is usually plural you as a health professional are going to do everything in your power to care for all the symptoms that can arise and make their life much more easier to cope with we've been able to show that it's affordable we've been able to sure that it's cost-effective we've been able sure that it rationalizes entrance into hospital if we're able to care for people at home in an affordable way it's not a luxury palliative care is actually not a luxury it makes good economic sense good health economic sense and good humanitarian sense 80% of people with cancer present too late for cure in this country but that doesn't mean too late to care and we can look after and provide care for all of those people if we have the resources and that's what this Center is really about finding appropriate care that is cost-effective that is affordable for South Africa and we've been we've made lots of inroads in that we want to make sure that it's not just left to the poor and clean after the destitute or the well-off looking after the well-off it's a government responsibility the government understand that well enough that they could must look after the most vulnerable sector of their society which is people who are dying and everybody deserves access to pain relief and everybody deserves access to symptom relief you know people understand patients understand that their illnesses advanced they understand that that medical science we met won't be able to cure them but there is hope in the sense that we can provide a good quality of life for the remainder of their life living palliative care is a quite a new area of health care in South Africa and up to now traditionally the government hasn't provided it as a routine service even though the government has said that they should be palliative care and doctors haven't been trained on how to look after people with severe pain doctors haven't been trained on how to tell people they're dying or and they haven't been trained to really deal with the thousands upon thousands of people who have severe pains and symptoms so what we are doing here is really bringing that aspect of care which is a human right and in South Africa within our Constitution it is in the government policy and we're just realizing that for the thousands of people in South Africa that require it so that we decided to set up the first government laid surface to test it out of this hospital and really use this hospital as a training ground for other health care facility and for health care workers across the country as a support is needed for more research more training more service delivery pilot so we can see how to get antiretrovirals better ways of doing care between rural areas and so that the center can really become alive and work to its full capacity the center has potential to deliver a lot of palliative care research and training very quickly it needs that assistance now

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