The philosophy of hospice and palliative care is the same all over the world – to support people to die as well as possible, free of suffering and in the way that they want. My role is to report on best practice from around the world through our website and app.
My mother has worked in hospice and palliative care since I was younger, so I have grown up with an awareness of this issue. I still rely on her for a lot of help and advice.
I'm South African but have been based in London for three years. A big part of my job is meeting experts in the field who can report on what they are doing, sharing their work with others doing similar things on the other side of the world. This involves travelling to conferences that are hubs of information and networking. I enjoy the travel, and for much of May I attend conferences in Taiwan and Copenhagen, and the World Health Assembly in Geneva. I'm speaking in Taiwan about using social media to share palliative care best practice.
For the rest of the year, I'm in the office writing and editing stories and gathering news. I'm trying to break into what is happening in the Francophone world, so I'm speaking to a French palliative care doctor today. Frustratingly, it can sometimes feel as if I'm just watching while people work in challenging circumstances. For instance, Gabriel Madiye and his team at the Shepherd's Hospice in Sierra Leone are doing incredible work in response to the Ebola crisis. Sometimes I wish that I could visit more hospices to see first-hand the work that is being done worldwide.
I want to cover good practice from as much of the world as possible – sometimes this can be difficult because I'm one person in an office in London. However, the contacts I've made have been incredibly helpful. Today I received an email from a key contact in Thailand saying that they would gather and translate news from that country for us. That's a real breakthrough and has made my day.