Increase Paediatric Palliative Care in KZN, SA

by Umduduzi - Hospice Care for Children
Play Video
Increase Paediatric Palliative Care in KZN, SA
Increase Paediatric Palliative Care in KZN, SA
Increase Paediatric Palliative Care in KZN, SA
Increase Paediatric Palliative Care in KZN, SA
Increase Paediatric Palliative Care in KZN, SA
Increase Paediatric Palliative Care in KZN, SA
Increase Paediatric Palliative Care in KZN, SA
Jun 1, 2021

Increase Paediatric Palliative Care in KZN, SA

I can’t believe that this will be the 20th report I have submitted. It has been so wonderful sharing our stories with you and to give you a glimpse into what we are trying to achieve in KZN.


Our service continues to get busy and this has become more demanding due to capacity. We average 5 new referrals a week in addition to the children we are already seeing and these are spread over 9 hospitals in the greater Durban Functional Region. A large area to cover, with high demands and only 3 clinical staff of which only 1 is fulltime. But we get the work done and the lives that we get to be a part of benefit greatly.


The reality of COVID-19 and its impact is starting to become more obvious. I would like to tell yo about TS. TS was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) in 2019. AML is the more difficult leukaemia to treat and if we are able to get the person into remission the only way to ensure that they do not relapse is a bone marrow transplant. Acquiring matches in South Africa is incredibly difficult especially for our Black African population. This is mainly due to the fact that there are not a lot of Black Africans on the Bone Marrow Registry. We therefore rely on direct blood relatives but it is not always a given that they will be a match.


TS commenced her treatment in 2019. She had her induction chemotherapy and then her consolidation and maintenance and was incredibly fortunate to get into remission. Added to this her younger brother was a perfect match for her transplant. All the arrangements were made for her, her brother and mother to go to Cape Town (where the transplants are conducted). Flights had been sponsored and her mom had been given accommodation at CHOC House in Cape Town. There was great excitement because this was a success story we don’t often get to see. Majority of children with AML are referred to palliative care from the start because cure is so hard to achieve.


The date was set and then lockdown happened. They were due to fly in April 2020 and South Africa went into hard lockdown on 26th March 2020. TS and her family were unable to leave. In order to try and keep her in remission until things became “normal” her chemotherapy was continued. Unfortunately, in January 2021 she relapsed.  TS and her family were devastated as were the treating team and the palliative care team. As the palliative care team we had to explain to TS what has happened, what the plan is now and what we are hoping to achieve. TS is now 11 years old and exceptionally bright. She expressed her fear of dying, managing the chemo again and something that really haunted her was losing her hair. We have walked with her through all of these concerns.


The plan is to restart the chemotherapy from the beginning with some stronger drugs. TS has been very sick from some of these and is spending a lot of time in hospital. The palliative care team is providing support to her and her mom (who unfortunately cannot be with her in hospital). The hope is that we will get her into remission again and that we can get them to Cape Town and get the transplant done. This is incredibly difficult but the treating team are doing all that they can and we are there providing whatever support TS, her family and the team need.


The reality is that without COVID, without lockdown TS would probably be 100% better, back at school and living her life. TS is one of many children with varying diagnoses that have been impacted on by COVID-19. Due to this we as a team are seeing children who should never have been terminal but never got their chance to access cure.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Umduduzi - Hospice Care for Children

Location: Durban - South Africa
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AmblerJulia
Project Leader:
Tracey Brand
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa
$13,814 raised of $20,000 goal
193 donations
$6,186 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Umduduzi - Hospice Care for Children has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.