World Hospice and Palliative Care Day Marked on 8 October

1 Dec, 2011

On 8 October, the world marks the Hospice and Palliative Care Day. Along with other countries Georgia has joined this international initiative for the second time this year.  With the support from the Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF) three hospices located in Tbilisi (one palliative care center at Peristsvaleba Convent and two hospices at the Cancer Prevention Center) organized different events to mark this day.

Family members of palliative care patients, representatives of medical society, medical staff providing palliative care, the NGOs and donors that jointed last year’s charity event held on October 9 and contributed to the development of the hospices attended the events.

Special boards with thank you notes were set up in the hospices at the Cancer Prevention Center and Peristsvaleba Convent.  The boards can be updated; the name of each new donor will be added to it.

Caregivers, who have devotedly provided care for people with terminal diseases for years, were handed over prizes.

The Queen Tamar Hall of the Peristsvaleba Convent hosted a classical music concert.  Conservatory graduates and students took part in the concert, which was initiated by a conservatory professor, a patient of the Peristsvaleba Convent hospice.

Information about Palliative Care:

Palliative care is the multi-profile care, which primarily aims to relieve the pain of people with terminal diseases, provide social and psychological aid and moral support to them.  Hospices are the institutions where these people get both physical and moral support during final days of their lives.  Such terminal diseases are AIDs, stage 4 of malignant tumor, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular system and neurological diseases… These people are palliative patients.  The only thing the medicine can do for them is to provide care that focuses on pain relief.

The introduction of palliative care to Georgia was first supported by the OSGF and Open Society Institute in 1999.  With the support from the OSGF and the First Lady of Georgia, the ground was prepared for palliative care as a system; the country started providing such medical service.  As a result of intensive work and advocacy, in 2007 the Palliative care was officially recognized as a separate field of medicine; respective amendments were made to the Law on Health care.

The development of palliative care in Georgia is supported by the Georgian National Association for Palliative Care led by Dimitri Kordzaia.  The association focuses on AIDs patients.  Apart from hospices, palliative care is provided for people in their homes.  As a result 6 thousand patients receive such care a year.