How does PACK bring Palliative Care closer to Primary Care?

The Practical Approach to Care Kit
More than 30 000 health care workers are supported in clinical decision making by PACK.

The Practical Approach to Care Kit  (PACK), also known as Adult Primary Care – APC, is a health systems improvement programme designed to support the work of primary care health workers in under served communities (like doctors, nurses, midwives, health officers, community health practitioners).

Since 1999, the PACK programme has been developed, implemented and evaluated in South Africa, and scaled up across primary care reaching more than 30 000 health workers.

PACK is a comprehensive clinical decision support guide, revised annually to keep up with health priorities.

Following the publication of PACK for use in Botswana that reflected WHO guidance on palliative care, in 2016, the PACK team at the Knowledge Translation Unit (KTU) collaborated with UCT palliative care clinicians to add content to reflect latest South African palliative care policy.

Clinicians are prompted to consider palliative care alongside routine care for serious illnesses.

This included a palliative care section, prompts for the clinician to consider palliative care alongside routine  care for serious illnesses like HIV, DR-TB, dementia and stroke, as well as related training cases. Since then the content has been expanded and is updated annually, supporting health workers to identify and assist patients with palliative care needs.

Dr Camilla Wattrus, Knowledge Translation Unit, UCT (March 2020)

For more information visit