CANSA releases booklets to help manage cancer patients’ pain at home

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CANSA and partners have announced the release of two booklets, the ‘CANSA At Home Pain Guide’ and the ‘CANSA At Home Guide for Children with Pain’ to help patients, loved ones, families and caregivers to cope with pain management.

Zodwa Sithole, CANSA’s Head of Advocacy states, “In October, the spotlight is usually placed on palliative care as part of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, promoting awareness regarding caring of patients and their families facing challenges associated with life-threatening illness. So, it’s rewarding for us to contribute and make these CANSA At Home Pain Guides to download.

“The booklets cover pain management for adults and children in a user-friendly manner that helps simplify a normally complicated process. It presents a mixture of diagrams, pain identification charts and simple text and images to guide patients and others through the understanding and management of pain.”

CANSA collaborated with partners, PALPRAC (The Association of Palliative Care Practitioners of South Africa), Umduduzi Children’s Hospice and Patch, who are experts in the field to create these useful booklest. The partners were eager to get on board and contribute their expertise to make this booklet a reality.

“PALPRAC appreciates the collaboration with CANSA on the Guide. Pain is one symptom that can severely compromise a patient’s dignity and quality of life. It can be effectively treated, even in rural or poorly resourced areas.

“People need to know that they can ask for help. Health care providers, including professional nurses, need to be properly trained in assessing and treating pain. Morphine should be available where and when needed. Ideally regulations should be changed so that professional nurses are able to prescribe this cost-effective, dignity-saving drug,” explains Dr Margie Venter, Chairperson of PALPRAC.

Gerda Strauss, CANSA’s Head of Service adds, “CANSA plays an important role, in educating and advising family members and caregivers of cancer patients on how to help manage a patient’s pain in the home. In 2020, cancer patients should not be in pain.

“Managing pain effectively throughout treatment and at the end of life will ensure that cancer patients have a less traumatic experience and a good quality of life. This also reduces the distress experienced by loved ones who feel helpless when they are uninformed on how to help manage their loved one’s pain. The aim is to further translate the guide into different languages making it accessible to many more communities.”

CANSA also offers home-based care services to cancer patients at a reduced cost, paid for service or through medical aid. This service is running in Gauteng with plans to roll out in the Western Cape and Free State at the end of the year. Contact Adele Burger at aburger@cansa.org.za for more information.

“For those that are unable to care for their family members or loved one at home, CANSA has 12 CANSA Care Rooms around the country with two new Rooms being launched during the course of October, to help provide respite to family caregivers,” Strauss concludes.

For more information, please contact Lucy Balona, Head: Marketing and Communication at CANSA at email lbalona@cansa.org.za. Call 011 616 7662 or mobile 082 459 5230.

Visit www.cansa.org.za or contact the nearest CANSA Care Centre, call CANSA toll-free 0800 22 66 22 or email: info@cansa.org.za.  In addition to online resources and Facebook support groups, CANSA offers multi-lingual support on WhatsApp: 072 197 9305 for English and Afrikaans and 071 867 3530 for isiXhosa, isiZulu, siSwati, Sesotho and Setswana. Follow CANSA on Facebook: CANSA The Cancer Association of South Africa, Twitter: @CANSA (http://www.twitter.com/CANSA), Instagram @cancerassociationofsouthafrica, LinkedIn and Pinterest

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