A Doctors Worldwide team headed out to Kigali, Rwanda in November 2018 to deliver Palliative Care Training as part of our project in the region. We are working with our local partner, Al Amal, to strengthen their capacity in dealing with incurable, non-communicative diseases and to scale up their existing operations.
Running over 3 days, this initial training session was aimed at community based volunteers (CBVs) who work with destitute palliative patients in the local area, and it introduced the concept of holistic palliative care, which is about ensuring patients’ emotional and social wellbeing is looked after alongside their medical needs, as well as covering the principles behind good palliative care in practice.
There were 35 CBVs and healthcare workers in attendance at the training. We were also pleased to welcome a representative from the Rwandan Ministry of Health, who offered their support to the initiative.
The Doctors Worldwide staff had an opportunity to visit some of the patients currently under Al Amal’s care. The CBVs are providing essential services to these destitute patients with no other means of support, and who without Al Amal would be facing an undignified and painful death.
Samaya Ayaz, a UK-based doctor who was deployed by Doctors Worldwide to help run the essential training session, said: ‘I will forever treasure my trip to Rwanda as it truly was an eye-opening and humbling experience. I was impressed by the resilience yet positivity in the patients we met, the enthusiasm and dedication of the volunteers from Al Amal and the vision of the palliative care project in enabling home based palliative care and the idea that palliative care is a human right which should be accessible to all regardless of race, finances or geography.’
We would like to thank Al Amal and their continued hard work in making this project a success so far, and we look forward to working with them over the next few years.