The world has drastically changed around us and we are all struggling to come to terms with this change and wondering what the world will look like once this pandemic has past? We will be left with scars and those scars will change the way we interact with one another and the way we view ourselves. I trust that these scars will enhance the beauty that we see around us and which lies within each and everyone of us.

Msunduzi Hospice, just like everyone else, and all other service providers around us is not unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In saying this, please note that Msunduzi Hospice is still providing care to all of our patients who most need it. There are some patients who for very obvious reasons do not want to be visited (they have self-isolated) and they do this for their own health reasons. This is completely understandable. There are some patients who do not need our care at the moment and for the safety of our own care team they will be contacted and support will be offered telephonically until this pandemic is over. For those of our patients who are most reliant on our services, these services will continue to be provided by our team of dedicated and professional nurses and social workers. The care givers have been asked to stay at home for now and their services will only be called upon if and when we need them most urgently. All our group interactions such as Day care and the children’s groups have been cancelled until further notice. This was decided on a few weeks ago before the lock-down was announced. As a consequence of this decision, you will still see the occasional Msunduzi Hospice vehicle driving around delivering patient care.

Please note that all other services available from Msunduzi Hospice are currently suspended until either the lock-down is lifted or until further notice. In particular the shops are closed and the depot will not be open to receive your donations. The recycling collection bins are also not available. The Wall of Remembrance is not accessible. All our events for the next few months have been cancelled or postponed such as the Easter Fair (cancelled), Art exhibition (postponed) and Night of the Stars Jazz evening which has been provisionally postponed until November. This has had a noticeable impact on our cash flow.

While we are on lock-down the following are the best means of communication:
– cellphone – 0826999105 – please do not call the land line as no one will answer it.
– e-mail – will be answered once or twice a week and the e-mail forwarded to the correct person to deal with. Other e-address that can be used are:

As with many NPO’s during this difficult time our resources are being stretched to the limit and we call on the community of Pietermaritzburg and all our supporters around South Africa and the world to continue your support of our programme of care in whatever way you can. To this effect our telemarketing programme will continue and you may be contacted in this regard. Please note that there will be no collections of money. Please make all deposits by EFT. You will be provided with the relevant banking details.

You can make a donation by clicking this ‘DONATE’ button which will take you to our Payfast account.
A crowdfunding initiative has been launched and details are provided below.
For the most up to date information please visit our Facebook page often, as all relevant information can be found there. Facebook also provides you with a means to contact us and these messages will be responded to within 24 hours.

“Improved quality of life through relief of pain and other distressing symptoms” this is one of the primary goals of Palliative Care and is what we strive for in the care provided by Msunduzi Hospice. I would like to share the story of a patient we admitted recently to demonstrate how simply this can be achieved with patient, family co-operation and effective team work.

Mr Samuels [not his real name] is an elderly gentleman who developed a tumour on his spine and subsequently became paralysed from the waist down due to spinal cord compression. On our first visit we found him with severe pain in his back and legs. His legs and feet were grossly swollen due to lymphoedema, his bowels had not acted for many days, causing abdominal pain, he had bad oral thrush, causing mouth pain and he subsequently had no appetite and had lost a lot of weight. As a result of his immobility he had severe bedsores the length of his spine, plus a necrotic sore on his heel, which, when the dressing was opened, was found to be full of maggots. He was extremely despondent and his family were anxious and distressed.

Basic interventions were initiated to treat the constipation and oral thrush, and within a week there was a big improvement. The pressure sores were dressed appropriately and the family and carer were shown how to do the dressings themselves. We liaised with the doctor at the pain clinic at his local hospital, who commenced him on morphine syrup, and a few days later Mr Samuels told me that the syrup was “magic”, that he had gone from being in constant pain to being basically comfortable.

Despite the fact that our interventions have not changed the course of the disease nor the poor prognosis, life for Mr Samuels and his family looks brighter, thanks to effective team work, with full buy in from the patient and his caring and supportive family, and backup from the hospital doctors.

This then is what ultimately makes Msunduzi Hospice work so rewarding – making a difference in the lives of our patients and their families. Helping patients and their families through specialised care to live and die well.

Show that you care by clicking on this link and helping us continue to provide this very important care.

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