Since 2011, Rwanda is one of two countries in Africa to have a policy of palliative care. This is part of the government’s concern for our country to take over the health of the human person in its entirety.
RPCHO came participate with close collaboration with the Ministry of Health through RBC to the promotion of palliative care especially for the most vulnerable patients with life-limiting illness , but also with the available range of expertise in the organization to strengthen the institutional capacity, promote operational research for better monitoring of the integration of palliative care quality in the health system.
To achieve tangible results, there was a synergic participation of a multidisciplinary team consisting of a core of 2 permanent nurses supported by a team of volunteer doctors, clinical psychologist and social worker, with the support of RBC and international partners interested in palliative care, among them Hospice Without Border (HWB) and Roros Foundation.
For the moment, with very limited means available, our business scope is limited to 3 districts of the City of Kigali and health facilities in their area.
We know that, before modern medicine occurred in Rwanda, people died at home surrounded by family and community members. Currently, even when the hospital returns you home to die among your family, this one , does everything with available means to keep you in hospital.
Die at home is perceived as negligence and lack of assistance to the person in danger. This generally lead family members to stigmatization. There are challenges to patients with life-limiting illness. The family is frustrated by his inability to cope with chronic pain and the special care that often needs the member who arrive at the end of his life in suffering .
The family is ready to make financial sacrifices to keep the patient and his suffering at the hospital. This can lead to a financial collapse of the family but also financial losses of insurances and weariness of caregivers.
Rwanda Palliative Care and Hospice Organization work focused to demystify dying at home in palliative care and demonstrate the benefits of Home Based Care.
RPCHO has experienced an increase of patient who prefer to die at home from 51.85 % phase I of RPCHO activities (15 month : April 2015-June 2016) up to 57% in phase II ( 15 month : July 2016-September 2017). This experience of Patient’s who died at home surrounded by family affection is significant in Behavior change and breaking myths about dying at Home as neglect of the family. For the ongoing years, RPCHO will make more effort in maintaining this momentum and target to reach at least 70% of death at home as it is same in Australia and others advanced countries in Palliative Care.
RPCHO Mobile Unit activities .
Patients followed by the RPCHO mobile unit have been increased :
. 2014 : 25
. 2015 : 32
. 2016 : 46
. 2017 : 75
. Total patient in December 2017 : 178
Patient’s support :
. Physical : Pain management, wound care, medical consultation at Home and symptoms control at home, change of vesicle drainage……
. Social : Food support, transport to Butaro Hospital, provide colostomy bags, pampers, and all our service are free of charge.
. Psychological : Different counseling sessions are provided to our patients.
. Spiritual support : In collaboration of different group of prayers and churches, our patients have benefited of spiritual support