Thousands of South Africans are diagnosed with life threatening illness every year. Most of them will experience severe pain and won’t have access to affordable and effective pain medication.
For those who die, many will do so without the basic human right of dying with dignity and without suffering.
Read: Are you prepared for death?
Palliative care is an approach to medicine that aims to change the situation. In South Africa and many other countries, hospice associations are the main provider of this kind of care.
“Even if you going to die or even if you are dying you have to die with dignity, you have to die clean, you have to die free from pain, you have to die next to somebody who has given you support,” says Zululand Hospice palliative care nurse Nokukhanya Makhanya.
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