Hospices of Hope US

Find out about our charity partners in the USA and the work they are doing fundraising for our work providing palliative care services and hospices in Romania, Serbia, Moldova and Albania

November 6, 2018

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.

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.

Find out more about our work.