A few South Africans who are dying of cancer, AIDS or other life-threatening illnesses receive palliative care in hospices. For most, the face of a nurse is the last face they see.
Rian Venter is a palliative care nurse in South Africa and director of West Gauteng Hospice. "Everyone has a right to a better quality life in their final days,” he says. (VOA / D. Taylor)
West Gauteng Hospice (above) is in the mining district of industrial Krugersdorp. Wits Hospice also offers similar palliative care in a facility tucked among the mansions and Lamborghinis of Johannesburg's plush suburb of Houghton. (VOA / D. Taylor)
Jack Kieser is a cancer patient at West Gauteng Hospice. He sits in a room surrounded by toys left by the families of children who died at the hospice. (VOA / D. Taylor)
Nurses give primary care to terminal patients at Soweto's Diepkloof. A psychologist says, " ... death is a gift; accepting it is a gift. Allowing it to be a gift is what we offer patients and their families." (VOA / D. Taylor)