THE Penang Hospice Centre is an active body that serves the public through its free medical care by nurses and doctors at the homes of those afflicted with life-limiting diseases.
In about two weeks’ time, the society will be holding the ‘Hospice Day and Charity Food & Fun Fair’’ to raise fund for their free community programme, ‘Hospice-at-Home Programme’.
“Since its since inception in 1992 to end of 2018, a total of 9,620 patients and their families have been helped. The operational cost for this programme annually is about RM 1 million,” ’said state Health, Agriculture, Agro-Based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin during a press conference held at Komtar today.
“Every year, some 2,500 people in Penang are diagnosed with cancer and more than half of these are in the late stage of the disease (source from Penang Cancer Registry).
“This figure does not include chronic diseases that affect many others, some of whom are also at advanced stages, such as stroke and those who are bedridden.
“The society (Penang Hospice Society) is entirely dependent on public donations and fund-raising efforts such as this to carry out their community service.
“Every donation, big or small, is of great importance to them. Let us help them to continue this special kind of home caring which began 28 years ago.
“The state government is in support of this community service undertaken by the Penang Hospice Society.’’
Penang Hospice Society chairman Datuk Dr Sharom Ahmat said it is also important to care for the caregivers.
“‘Hospice-at-Home Programme’ does not only look after the patients but supports and counsels the caregivers as well.
“They (caregivers) also need support and counselling, sometimes they even need more support than the patients themselves.
“Last year, we spent about RM1.1 million for 710 patients, which means an average of RM1,500 for each patient.
“Thus, we are also introducing a programme whereby people can adopt a patient and donate RM1,500. They will be taking care of one patient for one year,’’ Sharom said.
The ‘Hospice Day and Charity Food & Fun Fair’ will be held on Sept 22 from 10am till 2pm at the Penang Hospice Society Home located at 250A Jalan Air Itam.
Story by Tanushalini Moroter
Pix by Darwina Ahmad Daud