Catching up with Remigia Tloubatla

Leratong Hospice is an 18 bedded In-Patient facility offering holistic comprehensive care and support-palliative care to all its patients and offering necessary support to their families. The hospice is situated in Atteridgeville Ext 16, servicing the areas of Atteridgeville, Saulsville, the surrounding informal settlements, Lotus-Gardens, Pretoria west, Laudium, Brits, Hartbeespoort and neighbouring communities.

Remigia Tloubatla, co-founder of Leratong Hospice, is a retired professional nurse and tutor. Her passion and love for the community encouraged her to start a support group for diabetics, being one herself. She was also teaching woman in the community how to sew and empowering them.

Due to the high levels of HIV/AIDS in 2002, people in the community were getting sick and dying. Most patients were discharged from hospital because the hospital said there is nothing they could do for the patient, which left the family to look after the patient and they could not because they knew nothing about taking care of someone sick.

The nearest hospice was in Sun Gardens, in the formal settlements. It was quite a distance and most families were not able to go there. 2002, end of 2003, Kieran Creagh, a pastor from Ireland, saw the need for a hospice in the community. With Kieran being a well-connected person he got an architect that drew the hospice up and built it all for free.  

They had also approached Anglo American for sponsorship. And as a Catholic priest, the Catholics donated as well. As an Irerish man, he went to the ambassador of Ireland as well. In those months of looking for sponsors, it was also Kierans birthday his mother has send him R1000, which was a lot at the time. Leratong took it helped contribute to building more towards the hospice.

30th June 2003 Pretoria Archbishop George Daniel consecrated the piece of land where the hospice will be built. The construction of the hospice was completed at the end of June 2004 at a cost of R4, 7 million. The hospice which Creagh has built is called Leratong which means a “Place of Love.” It sits on a hill overlooking the township where dusty streets lead to rows of houses, mixed with shacks and trees scattered in between the dwellings. It shines over Atteridgeville as a symbol of HOPE.

Leratong Hospice is a palliative care center. It provides holistic palliative care for patients and supports for their families and actively promoting palliative care. Being trained as palliative caregivers, Kieran and Remigia have turned the hospice into a home.

Always trying to improve the standard of palliative care center. “You shouldn’t start palliative care intervention as the last resource, palliative care should start at the beginning” added Remigia.

To find out more about Leratong Hospice click here.