Doctors Worldwide

Stories from Rwanda: A Holistic Approach To Palliative Care

Our partners in Rwanda provided us with the heart-breaking story of a family of two sisters, Eshe and Firdaws, living in Kigali, with Eshe’s daughter. The family has no income, relying solely on food and support from Doctors Worldwide through our local partners Al-Amal.

Eshe and Firdaws are both receiving antiretroviral treatment for HIV, which they were diagnosed with in 2010. Living in a very old house with poor sanitation, their risk of infection is high. This is a serious threat for patients with HIV. 

The toilet and Septic tank for Eshe’s household, recently destroyed by heavy rains.

Our partners in Rwanda outlined a need for a rehabilitated bathroom facility for Eshe and Firdaws, which was destroyed by heavy rains 6 months ago. Both Eshe and Firdaws are not only frail and weak, Eshe has cancer and she is bed bound. Eshe relies on her sick sister to take her to the bathroom which is made more difficult without a bathroom of their own. 

Together, with the kind donations from our supporters and our local partners Al-Amal, we built a new bathroom facility for Eshe and Firdaws. 

Our volunteers hard at work rehabilitating Salama’s bathroom facilities.

Part of our dignified approach to palliative care patients includes this sort of work; it is more than just medicine and food that patients require for quality care. It is the holistic approach to palliative care; which is why we work in partnership with a local Rwandan organisation who are providing education for children when the breadwinner is the patient, or shelter when the patient is unable to afford it, or transport to hospital when in need of ongoing treatment.

With this new facility in place, the risk of infection for both Eshe and Firdaws has been reduced, and their needs have been met not only as medical patients, but as human beings, who have as much of a right as anyone else to have access to a working bathroom. 

We thank our partners in Rwanda, and our generous supporters like yourself, without who we would not be able to provide the care and support they need. You can support more patients like Eshe and Firdaws by donating online.

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