World Cancer Day

Posted by Francesca Rutherford on Sunday 4th February 2018

Today marks World Cancer Day, a day for everyone to come together and have a real conversation and think seriously about fighting the disease. It is the leading cause of death worldwide so raising awareness, finding cures and funding better treatment and care are all part of this important day and beating cancer.

United across the world, we are doing our bit to join the fight and bring more comfort to those who are suffering.

Ethiopiaid is dedicated to improving the treatment received by those suffering from the disease in Ethiopia. That is why we are supporting Hospice Ethiopia, a partner committed to improving the lives of cancer patients and their families. Their vision is to ensure that all Ethiopians and their families have access to comprehensive, affordable and culturally appropriate palliative and end of life care. Already, progress is being made.

Set up in 2003 by an Ethiopian nurse, Hospice Ethiopia provides palliative care to people in their own homes and in a walk-in centre. Their team of community volunteers, doctors and nurses works with families go out into communities to ensure the correct pain relief is available whilst also offering practical and financial support to families.

One of their patients, K, is suffering from metastatic breast cancer at just 24 years old. When she was visited, her pain was not well managed. Suffering from a range of symptoms, and unable to have surgery due to a serious congenital heart condition, it was important to provide her with better pain relief. Thanks to funding from Ethiopiaid, Hospice Ethiopia is now able to visit K regularly to monitor her pain medication. She is happier and no longer in severe pain. K is also receiving a small grant, allowing her to take better care of her 6 year old sons. The money enables her to volunteer in a local community centre to help identify others with symptoms of life-limiting diseases.

In a country where palliative care services are limited, this organisation has been instrumental in helping to develop the end of life care offered in the capital. Now, Palliative Care Hubs exist in various locations in Addis Ababa. Whilst continuing its own work in the community, Hospice Ethiopia has provided training to these centres.

We hope that one day our partners will no longer need to provide end of life care to cancer sufferers. In the meantime, we are encouraged by the way awareness is being spread and delighted to see nurses in Ethiopia better equipped to care for those with cancer. 

If you would like to donate to support this project, please click here.

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