Over the past number of years, we have been working in Rwanda in collaboration with one of the first community based palliative care organisations in the country to support the scale up and delivery of care for dying and destitute patients who, without this, would die a lonely and painful death.
Our holistic approach means that we do not just look at the medical requirements of a dying patient, but other important and dignifying needs such as providing shelter, psychosocial support, nutrition, education support and transport to and from appointments. Continue reading to find out more.
Medical & Home-based Care:
As part of our holistic palliative care programme, daily follow-ups are conducted by the team of community-based volunteers we work with in Rwanda. The patients are all provided with a unique set of medical, psychological, and spiritual support based on the details and needs of their personal situations. Each individual is provided with clinical services; physical assessments, physical and psychological pain management with different specific medical prescriptions and talk therapy, vital signs monitoring, psycho-social support, spiritual status evaluation and counselling.
In addition to frequent home visits, some specific cases are referred to a hospital for further management by Specialist Doctors depending on their condition. Our local team however, continues to support each patient, through continued check ups and transport support to ensure they do not miss out on any appointments.
- 335 home visits performed in the past quarter
- 48 patients received medications, medical consumables or medical equipment
- 371 people from 62 families (including caregivers) were provided with community-based health insurance scheme
Psycho-social Support & Spiritual Support
All 48 patients supported last quarter were in need of psycho-social support due to their experience of chronic illnesses. Our team visited them regularly in their homes to provide counselling for themselves and their families.
- 48 patients provided with psychosocial support
One of the major issues faced by a number of patients receiving palliative care is their lack of income due to illness, impacting their ability to support their children’s school fees and other amenities required. This resulted in an increased school dropout rate and poor performance. In response, through our holistic care focus, we provide a complete package of education support including school fees, materials, school meals and follow-up appointments to discuss educational progress both for patients and families requiring this support.
- 80% of all 24 students provided with education support had good performance in this academic year 2021- 2022
- 18 primary students provided with education support
- 6 secondary school students provided with education support
Transport, Food and Accommodation Support
During the past quarter, all 48 patients were provided with transport facilities in order to allow patients easy access to hospital appointments, follow ups and medical check-ups. In addition, as part of our holistic palliative care programme, a specific food package is designed for each family who requires support according to their specific needs, as well as additional money to buy fruit, eggs, fish, and vegetables to support a healthy diet. Furthermore, families experiencing high vulnerability due to a lack of any income-generating activities were supported with their rental fees.
- 48 patients were given transport facilities
- 15 families received monthly food support
- 13 families received the special diet support as per their requirements
- 5 families were supported with rental fees
For individuals who show progress through our programme of health and psychosocial support, we provide finances to support ‘micro-projects’ as a method of helping them generate income independently. This economic support is also provided to some caregivers to equip them with the means to care for their family members.
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