THERE is very little palliative care available in the communities through HIV out-patient clinics and in-patient hospital care, according to country director for Family Health International Nayer Kaviani.
Palliative care is about improving quality of life in people with HIV, cancer and other life threatening diseases.
Ms Kaviani pointed this out during the Hospice and Palliative Care Day seminar last Monday.
She said that to improve access to palliative care in PNG, HIV and cancer health care workers needed to be trained in palliative care and develop national palliative care guidelines.
“In addition, we need to advocate and assess access to opioids and reform regulations as needed,” Ms Kaviani said in her talk on ‘Moving palliative care beyond the hospital’.
“We also need to integrate palliative care into HIV outpatient clinics, inpatient wards and community home-based care services.”
She used the seminar as an avenue to elaborate more on moving palliative care beyond the hospitals.
She said it was about reducing burden from the hospitals and focusing on partnerships between the urban and rural clinics and communities, and highlighting the important services that could be available with much less cost through communities and with ownership of communities.
“Family Health International, in partnership with local NGOs and FBOs over the last two years, has been implementing a comprehensive model of palliative care in urban and rural sites in NCD, Central, Madang and Eastern Highlands provinces,” Ms Kaviani added.
She said palliative care was essential to successful HIV care in PNG and it should be available in communities through home-based care.
Papua New Guinea joined the rest of the world last Monday in observing this day which was described as “a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world”.
The one-day seminar was held at the Holiday Inn hotel in Port Moresby with the theme; ‘Discovering your voice’.
The seminar brought together volunteers from 10 sites in NCD who are engaged in providing community home-based care for people living with HIV/AIDS.