Summary of Study Session 30
In Study Session 30, you have learned that:
- Palliative care is an essential part of comprehensive care and support for PLHIV. It is care given to chronically ill patients to improve their quality of life and that of their families by preventing and relieving suffering.
- The four components of palliative care for PLHIV in Ethiopia are symptom management, including pain management, psychosocial and spiritual support, home-based care and end-of-life care.
- Pain is one of the most common symptoms in HIV/AIDS. If patients complain of pain, they should be assessed carefully, and in severe cases urgent referral and consultation is needed.
- Common but mild symptoms of HIV/AIDS, like nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, can be managed at home by giving advice on diet, fluids, hygiene, skin care and other home-based interventions.
- Chronically ill patients who are bedridden need oral, skin and body care, with frequent repositioning to prevent development of bed sores. Simple exercises/movements can ease stiffness of joints and muscles.
- Psychosocial support and bereavement counselling is an essential part of palliative and end-of-life care. It includes communication, caring and practical skills that enable individuals and families to cope with the often overwhelming feelings that result from their experiences with long-term disease and death.