Patient Profile: subira

Our fundraising is used to care for people like Subira (not her real name) in Addis Ababa. Subira  is a 49 year old Muslim lady with a carcinoma affecting her left eye, which was diagnosed 2 years ago. She has been HIV positive for 19 years. Prior to the diagnosis she noted a discolouration around her upper nose. The Health Centre referred her to the Black Lion Hospital (BLH), where she underwent surgery and subsequently received 6 cycles of chemotherapy and 6 radiotherapy treatments. She now has no sight in her left eye.

She is a widow and lives with her 2 daughters and son. Her eldest daughter used to work in Saudi Arabia, until she developed renal problems and was sent back to Ethiopia. Her younger daughter is still at school but is HIV positive. Her son earns very little doing menial jobs. She receives support from the Comfort Fund.

Her first visit from an HE nurse was on 15/4/19. She complained of swallowing problems and had an oozing wound on the left side of her neck. The nurses also wondered if she had developed a fistula (an abnormal opening) as the oozing was worse when she drank fluid. Her eye had a crusty discharge which had become more painful 3 weeks earlier, when her father had died as she had been very weepy.

Director’s Update on Violence in Northern Ethiopia

The latest reports from Northern Ethiopia are extremely concerning – over the past few weeks, tensions in the region of Tigray have escalated and there have been reports of violent clashes between the Ethiopian army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.

Throughout the crisis, we’ve been able to maintain our regular communications with the Director at Hospice Ethiopia, Ephrem Abathun.

Tigrary, Ethiopia. (c) OpenStreetMap

Hospice Ethiopia does not operate any care programmes in the northern Tigray region, and Ephrem reports that local work by the hospice in Addis Ababa is not directly impacted by the fighting in the north.

The situation is serious, but the government is striving to handle the operation with as much care as possible to avoid damage and effects to the Tigray people.

Ephrem Abathun, Executive Director of Hospice Ethiopia

With phone and internet restrictions in Tigray it is difficult to get updates directly from the affected areas, however, our partner, Ethiopiaid, describes how casualties are being treated in the Afar region, to the east of Tigray. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reports that medical supplies are running out in hospitals in Mekelle.

Hospice Ethiopia continues to run its programmes in Addis Ababa, as far as ongoing virus restrictions allow, and we hope that hostilities will end quickly.

All of the people of Ethiopia are in our thoughts,


Sue Mumford
Chair, Hospice Ethiopia UK

Quartely reports from hospice Ethiopia

The trustees of Hospice Ethiopia UK receive quarterly reports from the staff of Hospice Ethiopia. They report on a range of activities undertaken by the Hospice which helps us monitor the way the funds we send them are spent as well as helping us to understand the challenges they face.

The recent report records that they are supporting 85 patients through their home-base care programme. This is slightly fewer than in the previous quarter as fewer referrals have been received. The Director thinks this is probably due to fewer patients presenting at hospital as they are worried about leaving their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Day Care service run at the Hospice has had to be temporarily suspended due to the restrictions imposed by the government due to the pandemic. However, 25 patients are supported by the Comfort Fund; this is a monthly grant given to the poorest patients to enable them to buy food and other essential supplies. Our Coin jars support this fund; if you would like to have one, please contact Sue (01263 768699) or set up your own jar for collecting lose change for this vital fund.

The staff of Hospice Ethiopia in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health have provided training for a range of health care workers, on palliative care for people dying from corona virus. This included support for front line workers in supporting both patients and their families with their distress, medical needs and end of life care.

Earlier this year Hospice Ethiopia expanded its services by establishing a partnership with the Tibebe Ghion Hospital in Bahir Dar. This has proved to be a cost-effective model and plans are underway to replicate this at Hawassa and other major cities in Ethiopia.

Patient Profile: Maaza

Our fundraising is used to care for people like Maaza (not her real name) in Addis Ababa. She was a 30 year old lady with cancer of her lower jaw. Following surgery, the wound became infected so it didn’t heal. Her face became distorted by the mass which did not respond to chemotherapy. By the time the Hospice Ethiopia nurses met her, she hadn’t had a proper might’s sleep for 3 months. The pain & distress were overwhelming. The nurse reported Maaza “felt sad, hopeless and unworthy”.

The nurses visited her frequently at home; they provided medicines & dressings to control the pain & infection. They also gave her information about her illness as she previously had no understanding about it.

Although her illness could not be cured, her quality of life was greatly improved and she and her husband were able to sleep at night. Two months later, Maaza died peacefully at home with her family, free from pain & distress.

Fundraising at Mannington Hall

Hospice Ethiopia UK has continued to support Hospice Ethiopia during the pandemic with financial support, assisting with the procurement of PPE and advice about adjusting the day to day running of the hospice. The day unit has been closed and these patients are now supported by phone. Our fundraising has been severely curtailed this year by the pandemic but we were delighted to raise £439 at the Mannington Hall Charities day on September 6th. We’re also very grateful to donors who have set up a standing order, which ensures regular funds for Hospice Ethiopia. If you would like to help Hospice Ethiopia in this way, please email info@hospiceethiopia.org.uk