Umodzi Clinic is a palliative care clinic for children. The children in its care are HIV positive; have AIDS or are suffering from various forms of cancer.
Umodzi clinic is based at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and grew out of the recognition that the force-feeding approach used in the children’s malnutrition ward at QECH was inappropriate, particularly with HIV infected children.
Umodzi Clinic is a palliative care service for children with AIDS and cancer up to the age of about 14. A weekly morning clinic is run on support group lines with mothers and children able to share experiences and receive counselling. About 10 children are seen each week.
The clinic treats patients either in hospital, or as part of its Home-based Care programme. Its reputation is such that patients will travel long distances to attend. le to share experiences and receive counselling. About 10 children are seen each week.
The clinic has a difficult job. There is no word for cancer in the local language and, traditionally, the culture is not to tell children if they have anything wrong with them. Education is therefore a key part of the clinic’s role.