‘Support cancer sufferers, families’
UMGUNGUNDLOVU district municipality mayor Thobekile Maphumulo has said there is a need to create support structures for families directly and indirectly affected by cancer.
She however said the battle could not be fought by the government alone and required the involvement of NGOs and the families of those battling the disease.
Maphumulo was speaking at Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg this week where her municipality and the hospital hosted a palliative care campaign to raise awareness.
“It is of great importance that we pay more attention to palliative care and create support structures for the families directly and indirectly affected by cancer. We need to work together through intergovernmental relations to create awareness for palliative care in our communities,” Maphumulo said.
Palliative care refers to specialised medical care for people with serious illnesses.
This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness.
The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and their family.
Dr Samantha Govender, of Grey’s Hospital palliative care unit, said the families of sufferers needed to know that they were not alone in the battle.
“We try our best to ensure that families are given proper counselling, such as grief and bereavement counselling, which is offered to every member of the family. Patients and their families will be empowered that they are not alone during this painful process,” Govender said.
Since October is cancer awareness month, the hospital, together with the municipality, Howick Hospice, the International Children’s Palliative Care Network and Umduduzi Care for Children hosted an information sharing session to raise awareness about the campaign and show support.
The main cancer awareness event will take place today at the same hospital.