‘Sup­port cancer suf­fer­ers, fam­i­lies’

The New Age (Northern Cape) - - KWAZULU-NATAL NEWS - SIHLE MAVUSO sih­lem@the­newage.co.za

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.

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CANCER CARE: Mayor Thobek­ile Maphumulo took part in a cancer aware­ness pro­gramme at Grey’s Hos­pi­tal in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg where she said there is a need for fam­i­lies af­fected by cancer to be of­fered sup­port.

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