Josaab Foundation and World Hospice and Palliative Care Day in Egypt

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The Foundation networked with Cairo Runners for a run/walk event that had over 2000 attendees. Participants and supporters filled in more than 100 forms indicating their interest in becoming a Josaab volunteer.

The staff conducted a presentation over a public announcement system about the work of the Josaab Foundation and the importance of hospice and palliative care.

Educating people about hospice and palliative care in Egypt

Hospice in Egypt is still a very new idea. Josaab Foundation is a pioneer in providing mobile hospice services in Egypt and is building one of the very first stationary hospices in Egypt, to be completed by the first quarter of 2015.

The concept of hospice is very new in Egypt, and the word ‘hospice’ has no direct Arabic translation, which makes education of patients, physicians and the public a constant challenge.

A limited number of doctors are available that are specialized in palliative care in Egypt and there are a limited number of psychologists that have the training to help terminally ill patients and their family members during the illness and after the patient passes away.

How Josaab Foundation helps patients

Josaab provides services to a large number of patients in Greater Cairo (Cairo-Giza-Qalyubia). Since staff began visiting patients in 2011, Josaab has served 139 terminally ill patients and 517 of their family members.

Some outpatient pain management clinics are present in government university hospitals in Egypt and collaborate with Josaab. These include: Kasr Al Ainy Hospital, El Hussein University Hospital, Ain Shams Hospital and Nasr City Health Insurance Hospital that support Josaab in its work.

Generally, a patient is referred to the Josaab team through a government university hospital, a non-governmental organization (Global Cancer Care Egypt UK) and/or individuals in the community. The Josaab team then moves immediately to assess the patient’s condition and determine their needs.

The team puts together a clear plan to follow up with the patient and their families as well as deciding on the most suitable team members and volunteers that match with the patient. Josaab support services continue for a specific time with the family members after the patient passes away.

The team at Josaab Foundation

The Josaab team has received training on hospice and palliative care and strong scientific support from the German Hospice and Palliative Care Association, as well as the Bavarian Hospice and Palliative Care Association.

The team consists of eight Josaab permanent staff members. Professions range from medical doctors and pharmacists to financial officers. There are four nurses, two psychologists, two community leaders, two caregivers and 23 active volunteers.

A day in the life of Josaab Foundation

A normal day at Josaab Foundation consists of five field visits on average per day. According to the patient and their family members’ needs, a set of Josaab team members visit them at their premises and provide the needed support, whether this is social, psychological, nursing, medical or financial.

Some essential tasks are done on a day to day basis at the office. This involves team members meeting in the morning to discuss care plans for different patients and to coordinate with volunteers. In addition, a group ‘catharsis’ is held at the end of each day to gather feedback and reflect on work done.

There is also administrative work related to Josaab Foundation that includes: documentation of field visits, updating the internal online system, conducting meetings with other organizations and individuals to explore new networking routes, in-office volunteer trainings and meetings, recording and submitting financial transactions, developing fundraising plans and strategies and monitoring graphic designers and digital marketing volunteers responsible for social media outlets and to increase exposure of Josaab branding.

You can read more about the work of the Josaab Foundation on their website.

To find out more about World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, including how you can register your event for 2015, please visit the website of the Worldwide Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance.   

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