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|Home Based AIDS Care is Best says Sister-Doctor Carla Simmons in Uganda|
When Home-based Care is Best
"You get a different picture when you see a person in their home", writes Sister-doctor Carla Simmons. With 3,500 patients in the Mobile Outreach Program based at Masaka, Uganda, she relies on a team of 45 professionals, and more than 700 unpaid volunteers.
"We have twelve nurse-counsellors on our Home Care Team", she writes.
"Each one of them is gifted. They don't come to work on this program if they are only nursing "as a job". This really requires dedication. "Each day, three vehicles, each with a driver and a nurse, go out to visit designated centres. The nurses spend time with each patient, advising them and giving the basic medicines. "Some of our patients live over a far-flung distance in remote places. It is only since the growth of the hospital movement that the benefits of morphine in terminal illness have been appreciated fully. The beauty of the morphine we use is that it is oral, chap, easy to take, and wonderful for pain relief. It is also helpful in thec ontrol of severe diarrhea that often accompanies terminal stages of AIDS. That gives tremendous relief not only to the patient but also to the family."
As well as paying for morphine and other medicines, we need funds for transport, umbrellas and wellington boots for unpaid volunteers, bicycles, blankets and supplementary nutrition for patients and sometimes for their dependant children.