During a recent visit to Hospice Ethiopia, international palliative care experts, Professor Anne Merriman, Dr James and Sue Mumford, community specialist palliative care nurse, and Sr Bernadette Basemera, visited Sr Birtukan’s palliative care service in Sendafa.
Sr Birtukan completed a palliative care diploma at HAU, and has recently undertaken the HAU Palliative Care Initiators course.
She retired from nursing on the oncology unit at the Tikur Anbessa Hospital and has established a nurse run health clinic (Blue Star Clinic) in her home town.
Using 10% of the profits from the clinic she has started doing a small amount of home based palliative care, with a current caseload of four patients.
She has almost completed a large building for her clinic; however the clinic is not registered as an NGO, which makes it difficult to apply for grants.
Sr Birtukan visits some patients by horse and cart, and Prof Merriman joined her on a home visit with the others following by car.
Sr Basemera commented on the “excellence” of the care provided by Sr Birtukan.