The FNB Fund has actively supported hospices in South Africa with the focus on the provision of quality and compassionate care. Its hospice programme strategy is aligned to the reduction of HIV/Aids impact on individuals, families, communities and society by supporting the integrated Home-Based Care (HBC) programme within the hospice units.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines HBC as, "the provision of health services by formal and informal caregivers in a home in order to promote, restore and maintain a person's maximum level of comfort, function and health care, including care towards dignified death."
"Improving the perception and importance of HBC through advocacy is vital. We need to strengthen the capacity of communities to respond to HIV/Aids and to care for orphans, vulnerable children and people," says Howard Arrand, chairperson of the FNB Fund.
The intention is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and the family. Given pressing issues such as shortage of medical resources, inadequate financial responses and a high number of patients who need care, hospices could not depend entirely on the services of professional medical specialists such as doctors and nurses, to cater for this rising need.
"The stigma of HIV/Aids remains a challenge and we need to find ways to continue to educate and create awareness around this. Innovation with regard to funding mechanisms enhanced training and capacity building for hospices as well as accessibility and sustainably that contributes positively to these organisations," he concludes.