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Salone Celebrates World Hospice & Palliative Care Day

Salone Celebrates World Hospice & Palliative Care Day

Shepherd’s Hospice – Sierra Leone Chapter on Saturday 12th October 2013 joined other countries in the world to celebrate World Hospice and Palliative Care Day at its Lower Allen Town headquarters, East of Freetown on the theme: ‘Achieving Universal Coverage of Palliative Care; Dispelling the Myths.’  (Photo: Shepherd’s Hospice Executive Director, Gabriel Madiye)

Shepherd’s Hospice Executive Director, Gabriel Madiye said the 2013 celebration should be used to promote palliative care so that the message would go far and wide.

‘’We will be soldiers of compassion, empathy and not destruction,’’ he said adding that this year’s celebration is based on three reasons: to share companionship; comfort and create awareness about ”our service to treat patients suffering from pain and distressing symptoms.”

He further defined hospice as the movement of people who believe in caring for patients suffering from life threatening diseases and their families and referred to staff of Shepherd’s Hospice as angels of peace and compassion stressing that their main function is to relieve pain and treat distress symptoms.

According to Gabriel Madiye, millions of old people miss out on end of life care for which the new global figures revealed huge number of persons over 60 years in need of care at the end of life underlining that such people are missing out on vital care and support because of the lack of access to palliative care services.

“New estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) released today ahead of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day shows that around 24 million adults require palliative care at the end of life each year and 66% of these are over 60 years old maintaining that despite this growing need, 42% of countries still have no identified hospice and palliative care service while 80% of people globally lack adequate access to medication for treatment of moderate to severe pain,” Gabriel Madiye enlightened.

He continued that millions of old people, especially in the developing world, are living and dying from unnecessary pain and distress pointing out that the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA) is calling for an urgent response to improve palliative care for older people to meet the growing needs of the world’s ageing population so as to ensure that all old people with life –limiting conditions be cared for with dignity and according to their wishes underscoring how the WPCA is today calling for palliative care to be integrated into national and community health systems around the world.

In his presentation on Communication and Breaking of Bad News, Senior Nursing Officer at Shepherd’s Hospice, Sylvia Jabbie referred to any news that can drastically and negatively alter the patient’s view of his or her future as bad news, quoting Buckman of 1984.

She explained that breaking bad news is one of the most difficult things in communication underlining that for one to be able to do it, he/she must have the skills, observation and empathy to allow appropriate adjustments (practical and emotional) so that the patient can make an informed decision and prevent conspiracy of silence.

He concluded that many patients hate to hear such news but stressed that in such a situation, the only solution is to say things as they are so that the required medication can be administered to the patients.

By Abdul R. Bedor

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