The Rural Home Care Programme

This programme was developed in 1986 in response to the growing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS. It was further developed to provide patients with HIV/AIDS, Cancer and Motor Neuron disease in the community of the Ugu Health District in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa with specialised palliative care in the comfort of their own homes during their illness.

Patients are referred by local hospitals, primary health care clinics, community caregivers and family members. It is becoming increasingly evident by the number of self-referrals taking place, that people living with HIV and other life threatening illnesses realise the benefits of participating in the Rural Home Care Programme.

The majority of our patients, especially those living in remote rural areas, are not only ill, but also have to face challenges such as lack of education, unemployment, extreme poverty, stigma and the inaccessibility of water, electricity, transport and health services.

These patients can’t afford to travel to hospitals, primary health care clinics or doctors to receive the care they are in dire need of.  Their access to health care is therefore substantially limited.

Our five mobile rural home care teams visit patients with life-threatening illnesses and their families in their own homes to provide them with specialised palliative care and transport these patients to hospitals, primary health care clinics and doctors for specialised treatment, medication and follow-up consultations, X-rays or any needs that may arise.  

Our mobile home care teams also transport patients to our Inpatient Unit should they require admission for the purpose of family respite care or specialised 24hour comprehensive hospice end-of-life care.

The communities which we serve are also empowered through education in all aspects of HIV/AIDS and TB, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, infection control, nutrition and self-enrichment.

Each mobile rural home care team comprises of a professional nurse and two caregivers with palliative care training, who have a passion to improve the quality of life of patients with life-threatening illnesses and assist them in retaining their dignity throughout their illness.

Children identified by our rural home care teams to suffer the devastating affects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic are referred to our Orphaned and Vulnerable Children Programme where their psychosocial need will be cared for. 

Urban Home Care:  

Professional Nursing staff and Caregivers trained in palliative care provide quality palliative care for patients with life-threatening illnesses Cancer, Motor Neuron Disease and HIV/AIDS living in urban and peri-urban areas along the coastal strip of the Ugu Health District.