Ensuring Quality of Life and Dignity When Battling Illness

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CaSIPO made possible with USAID funding of $50 million over five years

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Eric Watlington, Advocacy Officer at HPCA
+27 (0)82 521 1267

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – The Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today announced a grant to provide capacity building assistance to the Government of South Africa (GoSA), Presidents’ Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) local partners and community based organisations (CBOs) to support and strengthen the integration of care and support services within the broader health system, and to strengthen community systems and organisations to ensure the provision of a continuum of comprehensive care and support services (palliative care).

The goal of creating an AIDS-free generation is a shared responsibility with partner countries in a convening role. Together, PEPFAR's technical assistance and the GoSA's increasing investments in direct HIV service provision are bringing ART and other essential health services closer to where people living with HIV reside, and creating a more accessible and sustainable health system. Country ownership is the cornerstone of USAID’s work as a development agency, not just in HIV programs, but in all sectors. PEPFAR’s model of shared responsibility is complementary to the foundation of how USAID does business.

The effort, called CaSIPO (Care and Support to Improve Patient Outcomes), reflects HPCA’s vision of “quality palliative care for all” by proposing to work with the GoSA, other partners and CBOs to develop a comprehensive palliative care package. This package will then be extended into all service areas so that each patient diagnosed with a life- threatening or life-limiting illness will receive care and support in addition to care directed at the illness.

“While diagnosis is no longer a death sentence, it also means health systems now need to be prepared to address the long-term care needs of those living — sometimes for decades — with HIV,” said USAID Southern Africa Mission Director, Cheryl Anderson. “As the number of people on treatment expands, and with it increasing their life expectancies, we must ensure that systems are in place to help people manage this disease and its associated health complications in the decades to come.”

CaSIPO will integrate comprehensive care and support programming into the boarder context of primary healthcare service delivery. This is a significant partnership with up to $50 million available over five years. Dr Liz Gwyther, CEO of HPCA, describes CaSIPO as “The more holistic approach to caring for patients will improve patient outcomes so that South Africans can experience quality of life and dignity when diagnosed with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness.”

Partners include: Family Health International (FHI360), SA Partners and the Foundation for Professional Development. Each partner is able to deliver strengths to the project, which will integrate care and support into healthcare services.

The project has three main objectives, which are to:

1) Provide capacity building assistance to the GoSA to ensure the mainstreaming of CCS-PC (comprehensive care and support – palliative care) in all national policies, guidelines, and management and coordination structures;

2) Provide capacity building assistance to the GoSA, other PEPFAR partners and CBOs as a care and support technical specialist to ensure the integration of CCS-PC programming into the broader context of primary healthcare service delivery; and

3) Systematise referral and retention systems to ensure enrolment into care and treatment programmes following HIV and AIDS diagnosis, access to a continuum of high quality CCS-PC services and to reduce losses to follow-up from health services.

The project also has two important sub objectives, which are to:

1) Provide support to the GoSA in the management of TB and multi-drug resistant TB in communities; and

2) Contribute towards strengthening health systems.

South Africa, with support from the United States through the PEPFAR program, provides more than 2.4 million South Africans with antiretroviral treatment - saving countless lives, keeping families together, and increasing South Africa's overall economic productivity.

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Issued by:

Eric Watlington, Advocacy Officer at HPCA Cell: 082 521 1267 Email: eric@hpca.co.za

Jenny Handley on behalf of HPCA Tel: 021 686 0287 or 082 456 2454 E-mail: jenny@jhpr.co.za

Last updated: July 28, 2014

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