Tracey Brand

Umduduzi - Hospice Care for Children

What does your company do?

Umduduzi – Hospice Care for Children has been the only dedicated children’s palliative care service providing palliative care to the children of KwaZulu-Natal since 2009 – firstly as the Bigshoes Foundation (2009 - 2012) and then as Umduduzi (2013 to date). This has been a free service that is completely donor funded. Few adult hospices provide care to children and without the work of Umduduzi within the State Hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal, children requiring palliative care and their families would be forgotten. (1) To decrease pain and suffering in both acute and chronic illnesses throughout the illness trajectory (including the terminal stage) in children in State Hospitals in KZN. This is achieved through direct service, teaching & training of medical professionals, undergraduate & post-graduate students, mentorship and consultancy (2) To maintain a structured play programme (with an ECD component) at King Dinuzulu & Prince Mshiyeni Hospitals

What is your biggest success?

Making a difference in the lives of children living with life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses and their families; to see caregivers become empowered to make good decisions regarding their children's care; to alleviate health-related suffering and to see children have good quality of life even though the quantity is short.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Being completely donor-funded and trying to access potential funders who understand what palliative care entails and its importance. Palliative care is not a recognised specialty in South Africa and there is no Government funding available.