Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Safe Stoves and Hospice Care in Africa

St Joan of Arc Church in Farnham reports:
"At a recent meeting of Arcaid, a registered charity, but run by parishioners of St. Joan of Arc, Farnham, we had the privilege of viewing two short films about projects to which Arcaid contributes. One, with commentary by Ron Potter, was about the building of safe cooking facilities for families in rural Tanzania, as apparently many children get horrific burns by sleeping next to the open cooking fire.

The second was a film and talk given by Ruth Wooldridge OBE about her initiative to bring Palliative Care to terminally-ill patients in Kenya and other African countries.

Ruth Wooldridge receiving a cheque for her African Palliative
Care initiative from Mariola Boyd on behalf of Arcaid
Her idea was made real when, in 1988, the first hospice was opened in Nairobi. Since then, this vital work has spread to other parts of Kenya and Ruth’s film showed vividly the enormous benefits that Palliative Care can bring to the lives of patients and their families. Teams of doctors, nurses, counsellors and social workers help to control pain, address the complex psychological effects of terminal illness and support patients and their families. Treatment is available within the Hospice, but many sick people are cared for at home, often in extreme poverty, but with the skill and devotion of family members and Hospice staff.

Palliative Care is in its infancy in Rwanda, but with the help of donors, among them Arcaid, local nurses are now being trained in Nairobi, enabling them to bring their knowledge, skills and enthusiasm back to Rwanda.

A very interesting and moving evening for Arcaid supporters. If you would like to watch Ruth’s film, you can do so by visiting http://www.hospicecarekenya.com/ and following the link to Film: Frontline Palliative Care. You may wish to support Hospice Care Kenya and help them to turn more ideas into reality.

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