HOME-BASED PALLIATIVE CARE

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Home-Based Palliative Care at PASADA

In 2002 PASADA began providing services beyond traditional home-based care when three staff members traveled to Uganda to receive formal training in palliative care. This core of palliative care knowledge grew to form a larger Palliative Care Team, and by 2003 had expanded beyond PASADA to reach eight Archdiocese outreach dispensary sites across Dar es Salaam. Today, the Palliative Care Team consists of 29 members, including nurses and clinical officers under the direction of a doctor. As well, there are over 200 trained volunteers. Home-Based Palliative Care is currently provided through PASADA's main site and 21 outreach sites throughout Dar es Salaam.

 Structure of the Team

The Home-Based Palliative Care Team can be categorized into three divisions of care:

  1. The Supervisors: PASADA workers, including the Head of Department, Assistant Head of Department, Senior Home-Based Palliative Care Supervisors, and Navigators of Children’s Palliative Care
  2. Home-Based Palliative Care Staff: 24 nurses and clinical officers working at outreach sites in the community
  3. Volunteers: Over 200, trained in palliative care

Services Provided
Home-Based Palliative Care is provided via a holistic care approach, addressing all areas of health including physical, psychological, social, spiritual and cultural aspects. The team visits the very sick and terminally ill in their homes and provides services such as:

  1. Symptom and pain management, through medication and non-pharmacological means
  2. Providing training for family members and care-givers on caring for very sick patients
  3. Ensuring a clean and safe environment for patients in need, through the provision of essential materials in the home
  4. Providing nutritional support when needed
  5. Linking patients and family to psychosocial and spiritual support
  6. Referring community members to receive the care they need

Children’s Palliative Care
In 2009 PASADA was one of three sites across Africa chosen by the Princess of Wales Memorial Fund to become a Beacon Centre for Palliative Care for Children. A nurse and social worker on staff, named the Navigators of Children’s Palliative Care, traveled to South Africa and were specially trained in providing comprehensive children’s palliative care. They returned with the duties of training other health care workers in this field, mentoring, and providing advocacy for Children’s Palliative Care. The services provided by this branch of the team include all those provided in traditional Home-Based Palliative Care, but are specifically geared to the needs of pediatric patients.

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