In Addis Ababa, the only hope for the terminally ill is Hospice Ethiopia. Through their volunteer network, Hospice Ethiopia identifies new patients, cares for those recovering from treatment, and provides friendship and companionship during end of life. One such person they were able to help was Kasim:
Kasim is 28, married and a father to 3 children aged 6 years, 3 years and 2 months. When he was 11, he moved to Addis Ababa for a better education, but now lives with his family in a small room constructed and donated to them by the government.
To support his family, Kasim used to work as a butcher in a small kiosk, but 15 years ago, he was diagnosed with chronic osteomyelitis. As his condition worsened, he found himself increasingly bed-bound and eventually lost his job.
Kasim reached out to several doctors, one of which suggested surgery, however Kasim declined, preferring to see a traditional healer- as is the custom in his family. Kasim continued to suffer from a bad odour emanating from his wound, severe leg pain, poor sleep, lack of adequate food and psychological distress.
Then, Hospice Ethiopia met him.
The team were able to provide medicine, bandages and treatment so that the wound on his leg healed. Hospice Ethiopia’s nurse scheduled regular home visits to provide holistic care, including pain and symptom treatment and emotional support.
Hospice Ethiopia continues to help Kasim by providing financial support, food parcels, medicine for his pain and general assistance. With all this support, Kasim feels loved, happy and feels his dignity has been restored:
My life before I met [Hospice Ethiopia] was sad and painful. I am grateful for the support that has changed my life, made me able to sleep and get relief from my pain.
Last year, Hospice Ethiopia provided care for 268 patients, just like Kasim, and 390 family members across Addis Ababa through:
– Home visits;
– Pain management and wound care;
– Comfort funds for food staples and household items;
– Counselling and day care services; and
– Training for healthcare professionals to improve palliative care knowledge and practice.
If you would like to support Hospice Ethiopia’s work in transforming more lives, just like Kasim’s, please donate today.