Why we are needed

In the countries where we work the vast majority of people with terminal or life-limiting illness do not receive proper care at the end of their lives. They are left to die without their pain and symptoms being treated and without any emotional or spiritual support.

Since we first started our work, access to free hospice care in South East Europe has significantly improved and we have helped more than 40,000 patients and their families.

But there is still a long way to go and access to hospice care is still extremely limited.

                                   

In Romania

We estimate that every year more than 50% of adults and children diagnosed with cancer in Romania, will experience unrelieved pain.

In 2015 just under 8% of terminally ill patients received some sort of hospice based care.  Hospice Casa Sperantei cared for over a quarter of those patients. 

The Economist carried out a Quality of Death Index survey assessing and contrasting the “quality of death” in 80 different countries.   Romania came 64th out of 80 countries overall and 26th out of 27 European countries assessed. (Neither Serbia or Moldova featured in the review).   By contrast the UK ranked number 1.

       

In Serbia

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Serbia.  There are more than 30,000 new diagnoses a year and over 20,000 cancer related deaths every year.

According to some sources, Serbia has the highest cancer mortality rate in Europe and there are concerns that this may continue to accelerate – possibly as a legacy from the years of conflict.

We know that approximately one third of terminally ill cancer patients die in Serbian hospitals. Some of those facilities have good quality hospice care units but many do not. We believe the remaining two thirds (more than an estimated 13,000 a year) are simply sent home to die in pain. 

       

In Moldova

Moldova is the poorest country in Europe.  The population in Moldova is around 3,500,000 people. Around 25,000 need hospice care each year but only 7-8% receive any form of support.  

Other than in the capital, Chisinau, there is very little provision for hospice care. In rural areas there are some small organisations but these are usually staffed by doctors on a part time basis as they cannot give up their work for the state.

These organisations are struggling to survive and Hospice of Hope, Moldova is working with them to ensure that their work continues. 

On particular problem in Moldova is migration.  This means that many people who are suffering with illness have no family to care for them as many people of working age have left the country.