In keeping with the core aims of ACT, the goal of the health sector is to bring health improvements to the most vulnerable in society. Currently we have one project working in the area of palliative care.
A word on Palliative Care:
|Many cancer patients and families have to travel long distances for consultation and treatment in Tunis, Sousse or Sfax. In over a quarter of them the disease has already spread by the time the diagnosis is made. Patients are very often marginalized through poverty, the financial strain of job loss and paying for ongoing medication or dressings. Separation from family support can be frightening, as is the taboo nature of a life-threatening illness. Pain and suffering are frequently experienced by many. Some patients are rejected by their families as they feel unable to cope with distressing symptoms and unpleasant wounds.
Our project developed in response to this reality and a palliative care support and education centre has been opened opposite the local hospital and regional cancer centre in Gabès. Patients and families are visited in the hospital and followed up by telephone support at home. Group sessions are held on topics such as nutrition or how to look after a seriously ill person at home have been started. Home visits are made to support the seriously sick at home in collaboration with local nurses. This is a 4 year pilot project and if successful it is hoped it will develop to include non cancer patients and be expanded to other regions. Activities:
Most of our work is done in Gabès with some involvement with the Oncology department of the Salah Aziz hospital in Tunis.
Our partners are: