South African paediatrician talks about what led her to work in palliative care

Categories: In The Media.

A recent online article on Times Live describes the work that Dr Michelle Meiring is doing to relieve suffering of children with life limiting conditions in Cape Town. Dr Meiring currently works from Sarah Fox Convalescent Hospital in Athlone, Cape Town.

Dr Meiring describes how she found her passion by accident. It was the nineties, before antiretrovirals were available and she had spent the whole night trying to save a baby with AIDS. The baby passed away the following morning and left Meiring with many unanswered questions. She realised she had no idea how to comfort the mother and she had put the infant through unnecessary pain by pricking and prodding for tests, but did not offer any pain control.

Dr Meiring was recently awarded a Discovery Foundation fellowship to complete her PhD on paediatric palliative care. “Palliative care is not just helping people die. This is a common misconception. Palliative Care experts are excellent at pain management and ensuring the patient and their relatives don’t suffer unnecessarily” she explains.

“Palliative care eases the emotional, physical and spiritual suffering of people with life limiting and life threatening conditions and educates doctors on what to do when the treatment of the disease is not effective.”

Dr Meiring hopes her PhD will bring palliative care to the forefront and make it a recognised speciality in South Africa. To read the full article, click here.

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