What constitutes a good death in sub-Saharan Africa? In Meru District in Eastern Kenya, we listened to 32 patients with ongoing cancer or AIDS, and to their carers as they talked about end-of-life experiences and care needs. Patients described how the support of close family relationships, and the care shown by their community and religious fellowships helped meet many of their emotional, social, and spiritual needs. But physical needs often went unmet. Patients died in pain. Some suffered in poverty, others were troubled by the guilt of using all available family resources to pay for treatment and care. Accessible pain relief, affordable clinic or inpatient care when required, and help to cope with the burden of care were among the key needs of patients. Until these are available, many will not die well.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Palliative Care|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|