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Although there are healthcare facilities in Khayelitsha, many people struggle to access the clinics and hospitals, especially if they are very sick or have no money for transport. In order to address this need, the hospice in the home project was set up as an outreach program attached to the respite care centre. Each day a team made up of a senior nurse and 2 carers walk through the poorest neighbourhoods offering medical support and attention to those who are house-bound.

The project has anywhere between 30 and 150 patients on its register at any one time, dealing with medical problems ranging from injuries which haven’t been treated to management and treatment of HIV/AIDS, TB and other chronic disease. The team give immediate care where possible, and if necessary refer the patient to the respite care centre or help them access the local clinic.

As always when treating people living in the poorest and most traumatic circumstances, support through counselling is an essential part of their care and eventual improvement in their health. Group sessions and meetings are held regularly to ensure that the patients feel part of a wider network, where they can share their experiences and learn from each other.

Finally a small group selling beadwork and other craft items is also being established to help those patients with chronic disease to raise some much needed income.

For further information on this project, please contact the Baphumelele office.