Community leaders: a new gear in the hospice engine in Egypt

Categories: Community Engagement.

When we first began providing mobile hospice services, the team was approaching Egyptians who were unfamiliar with the concept of hospice and palliative care, living in remote geographical areas during a turbulent time of political unrest. The safety of the team conducting field visits was a vital issue and demanded a solution.

The Egyptian culture is fairly collectivist in nature, if you had lived long enough in a particular location, everyone would know you.

Some individuals became trademarks in their neighbourhoods, are highly respected and tend to know everyone in their neighbourhood personally.

Josaab realized that cooperating with these community leaders offered a valuable opportunity to overcome the cultural barriers and spread hospice services to those in need.

Recruiting some of these key individuals became necessary. However, the right candidates had to be selected according to several criteria such as trustworthiness, experience in field work and familiarity with NGO work, location, good community ties and recommendation from a reputable person.

Josaab has successfully recruited community leaders and since then the role has developed to include many duties such as:

  • drawing a map to allow easy access to patients and their families
  • accompanying the team leaders/field coordinators in the mobile hospice field visits
  • following up regularly with the cases either via visits or phone calls
  • dealing directly with the urgent demands of the patient (paying bills, providing a nurse, etc.)
  • informing the team leader with the patient’s updated condition
  • pre-arranging the visit with the family of the patient
  • referring new cases to Josaab foundation.

The work of community leaders continues throughout the day as per need of the case. They have the ability to ensure the cases meet the selection criteria determined by Josaab Foundation. They keep supporting the families even after the passing away of the patient.

Community leaders disseminate the idea of hospice services and help for it to be accepted within the community.

Through the help of the community leaders, Josaab has succeeded to reach a large number of cases and to provide a wide range of hospice services to various communities in need.

Find out more about the work of the Josaab Foundation online