SOUTH AFRICA: Church Hospice to Expand Services for AIDS Patients

MANDENI, October 5, 2007 (CISA) - As the world marks the annual day of care for people with life-threatening diseases Saturday, a South African church-run centre is planning expansion to cater for more patients.

The World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, marked on the second week of October, celebrates and supports care for people living with terminal illness. Palliative care focuses on managing the pain of patients.

At Blessed Gérard’s Care Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, plans are underway to construct a new clinic for its ongoing programme, called the Highly Active Anti Retroviral Therapy (HAART), for poor AIDS patients.

Since its inception in 2003, the HAART Programme has been using the facilities of the inpatient unit at the centre.

“We are constructing a new HAART clinic to create more privacy for our AIDS patients and better consulting rooms for our doctor and nurse and safe storage for the antiretroviral medication,” said centre director, Fr Gérard T. Lagleder O.S.B.

Blessed Gerard's Care Centre also intends to expand its children’s wing to increase the current capacity of 40 places to 50. “Up to eight children have to share a bedroom in the babies’ room. We are constructing an extension to enable us to provide double bedrooms for our older children in a family-type setup where they can grow up as they would in a real family, getting introduced to the real life,” Lagleder said.

The second phase of the extension will provide a larger dining room, playroom and study room for the younger children. In future, subject to availability of funding, a final phase of the expansion will provide 24 more places for the primary school-going children.

The organizers, who are relying on donations for the successful completion of the clinic, have sent an open appeal requesting for help to help finance the project.

Contact: Blessed Gérard’s Care Centre, P O Box 440, Mandeni 4490, South Africa; Phone +27 32 4562743; Fax +27 32 4567962;; For donations, visit".

Issue No. 910, Friday, October 5, 2007

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