Hospice Care In Tanzania
US-African Hospice Partnerships are helping to develop hospice care in Africa. The Foundation for Hospices in Sub Saharan Africa (FHSSA), a programof NHPCO, helps to connect and support these partnerships. Since 2001, The Denver Hospice has had a partnership with Selian Lutheran Hospice in Arusha, Tanzania. Being partnered with an African hospice involves a two-way exchange of ideas, staff, and approaches to hospice, as well as a commitment by the US hospice to give moral, educational and financial support. In 2006, Exempla Lutheran Hospice joined The Denver Hospice in supporting Selian Hospice.
Selian Hospice currently serves over 3,300 patients with only 10 paid staff and over 250 volunteers. 70 - 90% of Selian patients are HIV positive and many of those also have TB. Selian provides medications, basic food supplies, and social and spiritual support. They also provide support to over 1,000 orphans and vulnerable children in the area.
The Selian model of home hospice care is being replicated throughout Tanzania. 16 new hospice programs have been started in the past 5 years through a USAID grant. Selian serves as the clinical training center for these new programs. Zimbabwe is currently ramping up home hospice care as well, using the Selian model. The Namibian government has also shown interest in the Selian model. The influence of Selian hospice is spreading not just in their own service area, but throughout Tanzania and even elsewhere in Africa.