The project run in partnership between The Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance and the Department of Palliative Medicine at BSMMU, building a compassionate palliative care community in the Dhaka slum of Korail, has continued to provide support to over 475 elderly people with palliative care needs.
As well as providing home care visits and follow-up by physicians, nurses and physiotherapists to the patients, the team has also been working to build local support for the activities.
This is important as the formal project funding is nearing its end, and there is a concern to ensure that patients continue to receive at least some level of support.
The team ran a two-day workshop with volunteers from Korail aimed at helping participants understand what they could do practically for patients (based on real cases).
The team and volunteers are also organising a ‘charity shop’ in the community to raise funds for caring for patients. The shop is run once a week and all the funds go into the project.
A further initiative towards raising funds locally has been to work with local shopkeepers in Korail and put clay collection pots in the shops for contributions for the project. They have pots in over 70 shops in the community!
People are being encouraged to contribute whatever they can, no matter how little. It is a challenge as most people in Korail have very limited income, yet it is encouraging to see people working to support those with palliative care needs in their community.
Palliative Care Assistants also continued to hold courtyard meetings. These are short meetings of around 30 minutes in the streets near where they live.
They are aimed to reach people who are unable/unlikely to leave their homes to come to a meeting somewhere else in the community. So the idea is take the meeting to where the people are.
This has increased the awareness about palliative care. In the last quarter alone, the meetings reached 356 people. It is also part of the fundraising strategy as they are asking each street to have a clay collection pot for the project.
It is hoped that all of these small initiatives will make it possible to continue to provide the important care for the elderly with palliative care needs in Korail Slum.