THE Verulam Regional Hospice held an awareness march through the streets of Verulam on Saturday, October 13, to mark World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. Sister Jenny Munsamy, from the hospice, said: “According to the World Health Organisation, palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment. “We support patients to stay positive. We have trained palliative care nurses at the hospice. “We do home-based visits to the communities around Verulam and surrounding areas,” Munsamy said. She said that, despite the rainy weather, the march was a huge success as hundreds of Saturday shoppers stood on the sides of Wick Street to support the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. The march started at the BP garage in Verulam and proceeded to Gandhi Park, where talks were held to raise much-needed funds.“The aim of the day was to increase the availability of hospice and palliative care and understands the needs of the people living with life-threatening illnesses,” said Munsamy. She explained to the public about the importance of palliative care and how the hospice provided palliative care to the terminally ill patients in Verulam and its surrounding areas. Dr Raksha Balbadur, a local voluntary medical doctor and a spiritual head attached to the hospice, applauded the work of the Verulam Hospice and said palliative care was a multi-disciplinary approach to care for the patients with life-threatening diseases where the medical doctors, nurses, social worker and care givers visit the homes of patients and provide holistic care. Munsamy said the hospice provides free palliative care to all patients on their program of care, mainly due to the generosity of the public. The public is invited to contact the hospice at 032 533 2764 for further information.“The aim of the day was to increase the availability of hospice and palliative care and understands the needs of the people living with life-threatening illnesses,” said Sister Jenny Munsamy of the hospice.