By:Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU- There is anticipation in some quarters as the country is about to host first ever Palliative Care and Hospice Care facility.

This information came to light last week in Maseru.

Palliative Care is a specialised medical care for people grappling with life-limiting illnesses.

Representatives from the Starlight Oasis of Hope Hospice and the Dolen Cymru Lesotho Wales Link were in the country engaging on a charm offensive to garner support and pledges from sponsors and donors. They sought assistance for contributions in support of the construction of the first ever hospice facility in the country.

Tebello ‘Malichaba Lepheane, a Mosotho Palliative Nurse based in the United Kingdom (UK) and a representative of the Starlight Oasis of Hope Hospice highlighted the significant gap in palliative care for chronic illnesses such as HIV and  cancer.

She emphasised the distressing symptoms these individuals endure.

Dr Paul Myres, the Chairperson of the Starlight Oasis of Hope Hospice and the Dolen Cymru Lesotho Wales Link, explained their advocacy efforts to raise awareness on the importance of the Palliative Care in Lesotho.

He underscored the necessity for collaboration with various stakeholders.

The construction site for the Palliative Care and Hospice facility has been allocated in Maqhaka where the community is reported to have demonstrated willingness to contribute both resources and skills towards this project. They did not indicate the exact dates but promised once all is in place the construction will take place and the facility is expected to be completed in 12 months’ time.

He said the community showed willingness and promised to contribute both resources and their skills for the construction of this facility.

He said they are planning to in the meantime offer limited services as they find their feet.

Dr Myres said they want the people with chronic diseases to know that “they are not alone”.

He added: “[We] want to make their lives better”.

They appealed to people of goodwill to support this project to be realized.

While in the country, this delegation had an audience with different stakeholders including Members of Parliament (MPs), officials at the Ministry of Health, tertiary institution offering health studies, amongst others.

Currently, individuals seeking these services have to travel outside the country to access them.

The hospice facility they said will provide good quality palliative and hospice care to those affected by the chronic illnesses such as cancer, HIV, heart failure.

Last week, the UK High Commission hosted the Oasis of Hope Hospice in a reception aimed at raising awareness about palliative care and the establishment of the Starlight Oasis of Hope Hospice.

During this event, representatives of the Starlight Oasis of Hope Hospice and Dolen Cymru Lesotho Wales Link met with the potential investor to garner support the upcoming project of the first hospice facility in the country.

The UK High Commissioner to Lesotho Harry MacDonald committed the Commission support to the initiative.

He reiterated that there is a need for dignity for people with life-limiting conditions.