Pal­lia­tive care progress


The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Brian Sokutu

The Western Cape has sev­eral met­ro­pol­i­tan hos­pi­tal-based ser­vices.

Amulti-pro­fes­sional pa­tient-cen­tred ap­proach was needed to pro­vide the nec­es­sary pal­lia­tive care to peo­ple suf­fer­ing from life-threat­en­ing ill­nesses, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent health study.

The ma­jor find­ings are con­tained in a re­search by ex­perts from Stel­len­bosch Univer­sity, Thames Val­ley and Wes­sex Lead­er­ship Academy in the United King­dom, Western Cape depart­ment of health and the depart­ment of pal­lia­tive care at Knysna Sedge­field Hospice. It was pub­lished in the African Jour­nal of Pri­mary Health Care and Fam­ily Medicine.

“A multi-pro­fes­sional pa­tient-cen­tred ap­proach and im­proved com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween dif­fer­ent com­po­nents of the health sys­tem pro­vides a more seam­less ser­vice that sup­ports pal­lia­tive pa­tients when they need it most,” said lead au­thor, Stel­len­bosch Univer­sity pro­fes­sor Louis Jenk­ins, who is also head of fam­ily medicine at Ge­orge Hos­pi­tal.

In fo­cus­ing on pal­lia­tive care in the Western Cape, Jenk­ins said the team found car­ing for peo­ple with life-threat­en­ing ill­nesses was “a key part of work­ing in health­care”, which had to be in­te­grated into ex­ist­ing pub­lic health care.

In terms of World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion statis­tics, about 40 mil­lion peo­ple in the world each year needed pal­lia­tive care, with only 14% re­ceiv­ing it.

Of these, 78% live in low or mid­dle-in­come coun­tries.

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