Al-Sadeel Introduction

Statistics revealed 8,106 new cancer cases (2000-2005) in the west bank (with 948 cancer cases in Bethlehem district), with 3,471 deaths. This is an indicator of the problem of high mortality rate among cancer patients in Palestine, which means that most of cancer patients are diagnosed at the end stage of the disease.

More over, most of cancer patients are diagnosed at the end stage of the disease (5,550 cases) representing 68% of total cases, which means that they are terminally ill and at their end of life, the thing that means that those patients are not early detected and no more in need for curative care that is no more applicable for them, but indeed in need for palliative care to live comfortably and free of pain.

On the other hand, as an example, there are (1113) breast cancer cases representing 27% of female cancers and 14% of total cases (the most common cancer between females), and this indicates the need for education and early detection for cancer. (2000-2005, Palestinian National Cancer Registry).

The shortage of health care facilities available to serve those patients and their families (one major center in Bethlehem, two minor in Jerusalem and Nablus, and two in Gaza), the limited services(75 beds for oncology patients in MOH hospitals representing 2.7% of total beds, of which 22 beds in Bethlehem area) that provides only treatment to the disease without focusing on the need for palliative care and early detection of cancer, and lack of knowledge, education and training among the health care professionals regarding early detection, public awareness and palliative care for cancer patients, as well as the absence of home care services (governmental and private) is highly figured out the need for palliative care in parallel with curative care to improve quality of lives for patients and their families, to live comfortably and free of pain. Actually, the number  of assigned beds to cancerous cases in governmental hospitals that are distributed  in Nablus, Bethlehem, East Jerusalem and Gaza are limited& encountered by many obstacles and inspection barriers  especially Augusta Victoria Hospital (located at east Jerusalem).

Fore that, Al-Sadeel Society is founded as the only registered Palliative Care Society in Palestine dedicates its efforts to start education and training programs in palliative care issues, and then to provide home-based palliative care services to cancer patients and their families. And, to establish the first non-profit hospice center in the long term.

As it happens, our idea is new in cancer field in WB because all the time the trend of care was to cure cancer patients rather than to educate and palliate, thus the dream about Creation a specialized organization in Palestine that should handle the issue of education on early detection and palliative care, and the desperate for being a part of the Palestinian health care system increased in its intensity.

Actually, a need assessment survey for Palliative care in WB hospitals was conducted by the society. Analysis proved the critical need for affording palliative care services all over WB districts. So we intended to start at appoint firstly at Bethlehem where most volunteers are from.


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