It was deeply satisfying to come across Dr Nargiza Dadahanova‘s kind words of appreciation in our blog, about the work we are doing.
She has shared with us her experiences in the area of cancer treatment in her country. We would like our readers to have an inside view of the state of affairs in palliative care and treatment in a resource poor country like hers, the Kyrgyz Republic:
I am the founder of the Sante Foundation in Kyrgyz Republic. I am an oncologist and working in the National Oncology Center.
Due to the lack of financial resources and means to provide for a psychiatrist position in the center, the work load of the oncologists is increasing. Therefore, the idea of establishing a foundation for providing cancer patients with oncological and psychiatric help was initiated.
During the last year, psychiatrists of our foundation provided psychological help to cancer patients who were treated in the Mammology Center and in the Palliative Care ward in the National Oncology Center.
In the course of our work, we face a number of problems:
- Total lack of the specialists in the area of palliative care and also lack of an informational resource center where we can find information about palliative care in Russian or in Kyrgyz languages.
- On the legislation level, there is no article about palliative care in the law on cancer care.
- Because of lack of awareness among people about symptoms of oncological diseases and their detection and also because of low living standards in the country, in 47% of cases patients apply to the oncology center at the III – IV stage of disease.
- Lack of updated, reliable statistical data about cancer cases.
- The problem of providing complex, valuable help to such category of patients is not raised and discussed among population and on the governmental level and patients and their relatives stay isolated in this problem.
As of now, we have undertaken the following steps:
- We have visited the Public Fund Revival, met with their representatives and attended several seminars that were conducted by representatives of the Cestadomu organization Jona Valjentova and Jindriska Prokopova.
- After these seminars, we have started to work on a strategy of development of palliative care in Kyrgyzstan and the creation of a multi-disciplinary team.
- Psychiatrists of our fund have begun to provide psychological help to patients in the palliative care ward of the National Oncology center.
- We are working towards opening a unit for treatment of chronic pain for cancer patients.
- We have also started working with the local Ministry of Health on including an additional article about palliative care into the law on cancer care.