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30 September 2020 | Story Nitha Ramnath | Photo Supplied
SWSA represented by Mariné du Toit (left) and Lyshea Mapaike(right) at the handover of the funds raised

Sunflower Children’s Hospice, situated on the ground floor of the National District Hospital, is a non-profit organisation that provides care and compassion for all children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. As far as possible, the hospice aims to keep children within their families and communities, with relevant supervision and support.  However, the hospice is also a permanent residence to many children.

At Sunflower Children’s Hospice, children and their families are provided with:
• palliative care, including pain and symptom management;
• quality of life;
• relief of suffering;
• support for child and family/guardians;
• developmental stimulation;
• support during the bereavement period;
• dignity in death;
• community participation; and
• relevant training.

Due to limited funds, the hospice experiences many financial challenges, which motivated the Social Work Student Association (SWSA) to become involved. Their involvement led to the establishment of the ‘#Adoptaflower’ project by raising funds for the organisation and getting more Social Work students to spend time with the children, as they do not have enough caregivers at the house to give them the special personal attention that they need.  This project was spearheaded by Mariné du Toit, Portfolio Head: Community Upliftment of the SWSA. 

The fundraising initiative collected R1 300 from selling raffle tickets to the university community.  Due to COVID-19 and the lockdown period, it became impossible to proceed with the intention of the Social Work students to spend more time with the children.  

Besides Social Work students not being able to proceed with their intention of interacting more closely with the children concerned, the lockdown unfortunately also affected it negatively in other areas.  The hospice needs assistance with clothes, toiletries, and groceries. Sunflower House therefore needs funds and sponsors to continue providing services to so many children in need of care and support. For more information regarding public involvement, 051 448 3813 is the number to call. 

News Archive

Ethics at the heart of healthcare practice
2017-05-17

Description: Ethics at the heart of healthcare practice Tags: Ethics at the heart of healthcare practice

Prof Gert van Zyl during the launch of Health
Ethics for Healthcare Practitioners with
Prof Laetus Lategan at the Central
University of Technology.
Photo: Supplied

The Central University of Technology (CUT) in partnership with the University of the Free State (UFS) launched a newly published book: Health Ethics for Healthcare Practitioners that aims to raise awareness among healthcare practitioners and patients about various unethical challenges faced by healthcare services in both the private and public sectors.

Prof Laetus Lategan, Director of Research Development and Postgraduate Studies at CUT, and Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the UFS Faculty of Health Sciences, are the co-editors of the book intended to provide a moral guide to healthcare professionals when dealing with their patients. 

Holistic approach to healthcare practice

Their work places renewed emphasis on the importance of healthcare ethics. This is due to a diversifying range of healthcare services and the imminent collapse of the public healthcare service sector; most notably in developing countries. The authors particularly focus on how their findings can be integrated into real-life situations.  

The book looks at modern-day healthcare ethics and how they apply to both patients and healthcare practitioners including doctors, professional nurses and therapists. It is an elaborate reference book that will help healthcare practitioners to make informed decisions should they be faced with ethical dilemmas in their practices and assist them to gain a better understanding and devise solutions to problems faced by communities.

Academic journey and partnerships forged
Prof Van Zyl said the book had been a joyful journey of collaboration between the two universities, a journey of academic colleagues who become friends. He explained that they wanted to focus on creating new approaches to healthcare from an ethical perspective, to provide a guide and reference on ethics, not only to healthcare practitioners, but also to patients. “We hope this book will make a difference in healthcare delivery,” he concluded.

Prof Lategan said modern science needed to become more interdisciplinary, which would transcend the way science was conceived. “The essence of healthcare is to be of service to other people and have relationships with other people. I think it’s high time for us to start caring for one another, especially in the academic environment. If we are really looking after the health of other people, whether it is mental, spiritual or physical health, it starts with caring for other people.”

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