In developed countries, like the United Kingdom palliative care is a well-supported and defined discipline, in South Africa there is no framework to support patients going through the state-funded healthcare services. A recent needs assessment of palliative care in South Africa revealed that only 17.8% of patients who need end-of-life palliative care, receive it.
Palliative Care services are traditionally provided by non-governmental NGO’s and hospices as community-based services. These NGOs, however, cannot meet the total need for palliative care in South Africa & the Government should not expect these NGOs to act as a substitute for their governmental obligations.
In fact, all healthcare professionals within South Africa, have an important role to identify patients and families in need of palliative care, initiate basic care & connect them with community services in their time of need to continue home-based end-of-life care. However, there are barriers to this implementation, including resources, infrastructure & capacity.
In 2014 the World Health Assembly and Member states passed the first ever global resolution on palliative care and in 2017 the national framework and strategy for Palliative Care in South Africa was approved, but 4 years on little progress has been made across the country.
At the heart of this are mesothelioma patients and their families who are in desperate need of emotional and physical support. Working with stakeholders across the spectrum we have formed the Northern Cape Palliative Care Partnership that brings together community-based organisations, health care providers and government into one setting that will hopefully deliver a framework with the patient at the heart.
Starting with palliative care nurse training right the way through to equipment and joined up services we are hopeful that this will improve patient outcomes or at least improve end-of-life care.
The Glynnis Gale Foundation, founded in 2019, works to improve the patient outcomes in Mesothelioma patient in Southern Africa through providing support with palliative care nurse training, medical equipment & education programs that are aimed at schools.
Discover more about our work & how we work with those in the Northern Cape affected by mesothelioma https://www.facebook.com/GlynnisGaleFoundation