The giant suburb of Chatsworth was developed in the mid-1960s – a creation of the apartheid policy of the Government to house over 800 000 working-class South African born Indians who had been displaced in terms of the Group Areas Act. A single State Health care facility, R K Khan Hospital, served the huge Indian population. In a five-year period in the 1980s, this hospital treated over 6500 patients suffering from cancer. With the progression of time, a large proportion of these patients would have been termed incurable and/or terminally ill and sent home to fend for themselves, with or without family support. There were no hospices in Chatsworth to provide the specialised palliative care and medication management which such patients required.
In 1991, a group of concerned persons came together with the express intention of establishing a hospice that could serve the needs of cancer patients in Chatsworth. They comprised medical and administrative staff and senior nurses from R K Khan Hospital, together with community-conscious individuals. Strong local community support saw the establishment of Chatsworth Regional Hospice Association in the same year, operating from two small rooms at the back of the R K Khan Hospital and serviced by senior nursing staff who commenced home-based care on a voluntary basis for patients during their off-duty times.
The Hospice Association was formally launched at a public meeting in 1992, where it was resolved that services would be provided free of charge to cancer patients at all stages of the disease. In 2006, the services of the Hospice were extended to HIV AIDS patients. From 2015, in accordance with the World Health Organization’s re-definition of palliative care, these services are available to all patients at the terminal stage of their illnesses for non-dispensing palliative care treatment only. All services remain cost free to patients and their families.
BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
Chatsworth Hospice is unique in that its entire Board of Management and all but one of its standing committees is composed of volunteers.
PRESIDENT – MRS K SINGH
VICE PRESIDENT – MRS T PILLAY
SECRETARY – MS KAY NAMBIAR
ASSISTANT SECRETARY – MR MORGAN GOVINDSAMY
CHAIRPERSON – FINANCE – MR G. PILLAY
MEDICAL DIRECTOR – DR ASHLY HAMMOND
CHAIR PERSON – PATIENT CARE – MRS N. PILLAY
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER – MRS U. CHETTY
MANAGER – MR M NAIDOO, ex officio
ORGANISATION AND DEVELOPMENT – MR J RAMJATTAN
EDUCATION AND TRAINING – DR S MUNNOO
QUALITY ASSURANCE – MRS B HURBANS
FUNDRAISING – MRS MOGIE PILLAY
SPECIAL EVENTS – MRS R KANNY
HUMAN RESOURCES – MRS K PATHER AND MRS K SINGH
VOLUNTEER CO-ORDINATOR – MRS U MOODLEY
SPIRITUAL CARE – PASTOR MITCH
INTERNAL AUDITOR – MR S R PILLAY
ABOUT US – EDUCATION & TRAINING
Courses are provided on a regular basis, free of charge, to a variety of groups:
- Caregiver training for Hospice volunteers. The course runs over 10 days and encompasses a broad range of care skills. Practical training is given at the Hospice
- Provision for medical students from several overseas universities to undertake case studies through supervised visits to home-based care patients
- Nurses in training at the R K Khan Hospital and private nursing schools
- Orientation courses for Hospice nursing staff and volunteers
- Annual awareness programmes on cancer and HIV AIDS for Grade 10 learners from local schools
Public awareness programmes through community-based organisations