The Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) on Friday commemorated the 2023 World Hospice and Palliative Care Day (WHPCD), saying that it shared in its patients’ pain.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Wasiu Adeyemo, said this at the commemoration in LUTH premises, Idi-Araba, Surulere, Lagos.
Adeyemo, who was represented by Dr Ayodeji Oluwole, Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), said that palliative care was used when referring to severe debilitating chronic diseases.
He said that palliative care had a lot of emotional, mental, psychological, financial stress on the patient and the caregivers.
It was reported that the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2023 is a global observance dedicated to raising awareness about hospice and palliative care.
It sensitises on essential services that improve the quality of life for individuals with life-limiting illnesses.
“So, this day is recognised all over the world as a way of giving back to these patients and to the families that will care for them.
“We understand what they are going through, we care for them, feel and share their pain and that’s the only way we can show them that we remember them and we still care for them.
“So, it’s a way of psychiatrically and mentally lifting them, at least for a day. Putting a smile on their faces, it’s not about pain, pain, injection, pain, pain all the time.
“It’s about showing love to them and that’s exactly and essentially what the day is all about,” Adeyemo said.
The CMD said that the management under his headship cared for its patients, and this was a way of giving back to them.
Also speaking, Dr Ann Ogbenna, Team Lead, LUTH Palliative Care, said that it was not every disease that could be cured, noting that some diseases are life-threatening, so some patients suffer.
Ogbenna, who was also a hematologist, said that there was a process of pain, so patients suffer from pain and other symptoms, even when their disease had a cure.
“Palliative care actually aims to relieve the pain and suffering of patients with serious illnesses.
“And not only the patients, even their families; my motivation is to be able to give a smile, to be able to give hope even when medicine, in terms of curative medicine, cannot offer hope.
“And that is where palliative care comes in, ensuring that every patient has the best quality of life despite the diagnosis. And how do we do that? By addressing both emotional, physical, spiritual, any kind of pain or suffering that the patient or their relatives have,” the team lead said.
Ogbenna added that the aim of palliative care was to give patients the best quality of life.
She said: “we might not be able to change the outcome of a disease, but we should be able to change the journey of the disease by making it as fulfilling as possible despite the limitations.”
The highlight of the event was presentation of gifts to children tailored towards their individual wishes and desires.