We are delighted to announce Hospices of Hope is extending its work into Albania by supporting existing hospice organisation Ryder Albania.
Ryder Albania started work in Tirana in 1993. It was established with support from Sue Ryder and the two organisations still maintain close links.
The current local organisation currently has two multi-disciplinary teams. They provide free medical care, psychological counselling and assistance with social services to patients and their families. From its start in 1993 to 2018, the organisation has cared for around 8,400 patients and has supported approximately 25,200 close family members.
As well as caring for patients Ryder Albania provides palliative care training within the country and has taken on a lobbying role to improve hospice services. To date more than 1,200 doctors, nurses and social workers from different areas of the country have been trained by Ryder Albania.
Initially Hospices of Hope will be providing advice on issues such as fundraising to the teams. But we would like to follow our Moldovan model and establish a national network of hospice services in the country.
Local context and challenges
In Albania, 32.8% of the population lives under the poverty threshold ($5 a day) according to World Bank Statistics. The public health system is struggling to come up with a solution to the country’s needs and much needed medicine is lacking as only 75% of the WHO recommended drugs can be prescribed in Albania. With almost no funding for palliative care from the state health care system – the only contribution is the reimbursement of the cost for some drugs and a reluctance to tell patients their true diagnosis, there are many challenges the local organisations supporting palliative care are facing.
Low- and middle-income countries, including Albania, face a disproportionate lack of access to palliative care and pain-relieving therapies. While there is tremendous work to be done because of the lack of social support for patients and their families, we are hoping to achieve great progress with the support of our wonderful volunteers and donors.
Alex Padureanu, Hospices of Hope CEO comments: “I believe that our partnership with Ryder Albania will make a huge difference. Initially we will be providing advice on issues such as fundraising to the teams. But we would like to follow the model we have now introduced in Moldova and establish a national network of hospice services in the country. Plans are still at a very early stage, but I am very confident we can work with the Ryder Albania to achieve this goal and improve the situation for terminally ill patients in Albania”
About Ryder Albania
Initially Ryder Albania provided free home care services to terminal cancer patients and to the elderly suffering from chronic illness in the capital city. Then in 1996 it extended its services and opened a home care service in Durres, the second largest city in Albania. For a while the organisation rented space and was able to provide in-patient services. Sadly lack of funds during the recession meant that this service had to come to an end so now Ryder Albania’s multidisciplinary teams offer services in patient’s homes in both Tirana and Durres.
Find out more about our project in Albania.
About the Charity
Hospices of Hope developed from very small beginnings into a leading palliative and hospice care organization in South East Europe. Since 1992, we have facilitated care for more than 40,000 patients in Romania, Moldova and Serbia and have trained more than 20,000 health care professionals from all over Central and Eastern Europe. However, much work is still to be done as there are still many vulnerable countries and groups of beneficiaries that desperately need care and do not receive it.
Hospices of Hope in the USA
The support we have received from the US has been humbling, we were incredibly inspired by people who donated money, time and skills to an organization offering services thousands of miles away from where they live and we have responded by opening a small office in Nyack, New York, thanks to the amazing support of Dr Ronna McHammond. Ronna still runs our US branch of Hospices of Hope.
One of the most important components of our activity in the US has been, from the beginning, the transfer of know how to the country where we operate, good practice, empowering nurses etc. It all started with a project with the Rhode Island and Boston University.
At the moment we are using the skills, experience and knowledge of organizations like Cedars Sinai in LA, Stanford University or Mott Hospital in Michigan which arepioneering and piloting the usage of technology in therapy.
Find out more about our work.