Thursday, March 7, 2013

Shared Knowledge & Understanding

Post by Mark Hibbins, Hospice Wits Financial Manager

Mark Hibbins
Despite South Africa being the most advanced country in Africa, we're nevertheless fairly isolated in terms of our understanding or even awareness of worldly developments, specifically around palliative care and, to a large extent, technological advances.

Our country is a vast cauldron of many factors. We have 11 official languages, cultural differences and massive anomalies in living and education standards. Within a mile or two from the wealthy live thousands in abject, unbelievable poverty, with the majority whom are unemployed. Our government health facilities are crumbling, many barely functional.

Hospice Wits has units in Houghton, a wealthy area, and Soweto, an impoverished area. We're so fortunate to share a partnership with Suncoast Hospice.We're extremely proud of our Soweto facility and the services we offer to the community. These are only possible to continue because of the generosity of financial contributions from local and international funders.

Sadly, our USAID/PEPFAR funding terminates in March this year, and this will definitely place an additional burden on us to find alternate funding in order to continue our work in Soweto.

For me, the partnership with Suncoast Hospice represents a golden opportunity for both of our hospices to benefit from a sharing of knowledge and understanding.

Our staff who've visited U.S.A. and Suncoast have returned invigorated and filled with new ideas and enthusiasm. And their experiences have been shared with us. We're also in awe that you and your staff who've visited here over the years feel you've learned from us. We trust our mutual association will remain strong.

We're also implementing a number of Suncoast Hospices’ initiatives. We're excited about the ultimate benefits we surely will receive.

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