The Patron Speaks
Inkhosikati Make LaNgangazaThe year under review has been a challenging period for Swaziland Hospice At Home (SHAH). The organization's resources are still the most impacting factor in its quest to serve the Swazi terminally ill and poverty stricken segment of our society. This is evident when considering the organization's difficulties in meeting requests from its constituencies fully. These requests ranges from alleviating pain and suffering, home based care and bereavement support to mention but a few. I am quite aware of the fact that some drugs continue to be indispensable for the relief of pain and suffering and may I assure you that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that adequate provision is made available.

A multi-centre study by health professionals on pain in AIDS asserts that pain is a common and debilitating symptom of HIV disease, present in 62% of HIV inpatients and its severity decreases their quality of life. Since palliative care is still a new phenomenon, problems like lack of national policies and coordination amongst all service providers and ignorance are some of the obstacles to effective palliative care in the country. I so much wish that all health professionals and relevant stakeholders can come together and make sure that palliative care is improved. I would be very much pleased to hear that it has been included in the national HIV/AIDS policy, and also be mentioned in the government of Swaziland health sector policy. I have noted that these challenges are really a threat to the organization's efforts in fighting HIV/AIDS in the country.

Massive investment on human resource development is also a must for an organization to progress. Even though it has proved to be the most expensive but imperative factor to any organization regardless of its mandate. Thus, though SHAH is a non-profit organization, but its mandate requires recruitment of a dedicated staff. This is due to the nature of the job as mentioned that it can be emotionally effecting to the organization's workers as well. Above all the organization has to retain this key human resource staff for efficiency in the execution of its mandate.

Moreover, the country's infrastructure makes it even more expensive and difficult to reach the organization's constituencies, particularly in the rural areas where the effects of the HIV/AIDS and poverty scourges are mostly felt. Scholars and researchers have declared this era as an information age. This as meaning, a difficult life for one if ignored by such transformations which predominate technologically in nature. However, it's very disheartening that most of our constituencies in rural areas are victims of such unevenness, while access to information can be helpful in this war. This is where palliative care plays an important role.

I don't mean to undervalue government's efforts in bridging the gap between urban living standards and rural living standards in the promotion of sustainable development and poverty alleviation. The organization sees itself as a partner to the Swazi government fight against these national disasters.

Ladies and gentlemen this country is at war against the most venomous deadly enemy ever experienced by human kind. HIV/AIDS, cancer and poverty are our overt enemies; they are a threat even to our existence. Therefore, I urge each and every Swazi, regardless of gender, age, to be patriotic and join the fight.

In conclusion, I want to thank the Director of hospice for her continuous sharing of information on the progress of hospice challenges and her innovative approach in dealing with hospice activities. May I also request His Majesties government, Friends of SHAH, Business Community to continue offering support to hospice as it is for a good course.

Inkhosikati Make LaNgangaza