Helping families find professional home care for their loved ones
VIDEO: Building a Home Health Care Sector in Jordan
The King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC), one of the region’s premier palliative care providers, is extending its services to homebound patients with support from the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program (JCP). The program has worked with KHCC to institutionalize these services, creating a model, not just for palliative treatment, but also for home healthcare more generally.
SUCCESS STORY: Taking Patient Care Home
Zuhdiyyah’s energy was that of a child’s, young and positive, and her warm radiance made us feel at home. With a perpetual smile on her face and a voice filled with hope, she welcomed us to her room. She was not alone, but sat between nurses who are part of a new Jordanian team supporting patients in their homes.
If one takes a few steps in any of the hospitals in Jordan, you might hear the steady sound of a monitoring device, a groan, people rushing in all directions. The sight of a saddened family member can be inevitable as well. As a doctor, going through a patient’s case, it always boils down to one thought: “can we spare them this hassle?” After receiving treatment at the King Hussein Cancer Center, the doctors advised Zuhdiyyah’s family to join the homecare pro- gram, which is part of the USAID-supported Jordan National Home Care Initiative.
Zuhdiyyah’s journey then took a positive course as she describes it. According to recent stud- ies, home care promotes patient’s healing and provides more safety from infections, allows more freedom and independence, is more affordable than inpatient care, caters to the needs of each individual patient, and reduces re-hospitalizations.
Seventy-six year old Zuhdiyyah had some ups and downs to her illness over the past two years. But with the care she is receiving at home the future is bright. As medical as it may sound, the term “palliative homecare” holds a deeper humane connotation beneath its techni- cality— “every time I see the homecare nurses coming through the door, it feels as if I was never ill!” says Zuhdiyyah, who struggled for long enough with her check-up visits to the hos- pital considering her old age and vulnerable body. “In the back of our minds, we would always be concerned with potential complications to her condition just by leaving the house, be it street pollution or the hassle to the hospital itself,” Zuhdiyyah’s husband recalls—you could easily tell how comfortable the family was sitting around Zuhdiyyah.
Across from Zuhdiyyah sits Ahmad, her current nurse, taking care to work quietly but surely. He told us how more than 70 percent of their work is now done at the patient’s home; “lab tests, medication reviews, clinical examinations, you name it!” says Ahmad. Even what had seemed to be the hardest part of her treatment, providing medication at the beginning of each month is now part of her home care program.
The program, implemented by the King Hussein Cancer Center with support from USAID aims to upscale homecare and palliative care services at the Center to serve as a center of excellence for home care service delivery, education, and training. The project works to in- crease supply and demand for home health care by increasing the number of specialized staff and homecare services, including by establishing new home care teams and services in pri- vate and public sectors. By providing professional development and training opportunities for nurses from both genders, 18 new healthcare units are expected to be established at different governmental and private Jordanian hospitals, which will result in 1800 new jobs within these units to meet current home health care needs.
The Jordan National Home Care Initiative is helping people like Zuhdiyyah every day to get their day-to-day life back right where they had to leave it: at home.
INFOGRAPHIC: From Idea to National Strategy
Human-Centered Policy Reform. When the King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC), one of the region’s premier palliative care providers, set out to extend its services to homebound patients, it looked to the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program (JCP) for support. The program worked with KHCC to institutionalize these services, creating a model, not just for palliative treatment, but also for home healthcare more generally. As a result, KHCC, with USAID support, has formed a national committee endorsed by the Ministry of Health, which has produced a home care strategy for the first time in Jordan’s history. This policy breakthrough would not have been possible without modeling the business case for home care through the KHCC partnership. Learn more through this infographic produced by the JCP team.
SUCCESS STORY: The Power of Palliative Home Care Services
For fifteen years Dr. Omar Shamieh of the King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) has been advocating for the need to advance comprehensive palliative and home care services. He is known as the “champion” of promoting palliative care in Jordan. When he began, Dr. Shamieh was indeed treading new ground, as the idea of palliative care was something unfamiliar to his patients and their families.
With a lack of public awareness about the advantages of palliative care, the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program (JCP) partnered with KHCC to address this gap and help establish a new home healthcare industry.
In 2015, JCP brought together all the relevant stakeholders to form the The National Home Care Initiative Project, chaired by Dr. Shamieh. It was launched with the objective to develop a critical gathering of health care professionals and caregivers who could effectively manage patients in different healthcare settings, especially those at home—all to alleviate suffering and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
The need was immense. Until 2016, the Kingdom had no training programs in palliative care. With JCP support, KHCC designed a comprehensive palliative home care training programme which offered a wide range of training opportunities designed for healthcare professionals. The diploma provided the trainees with new skills and information on how to give palliative care within the home.
Twenty Seven graduates from the public and private hospitals of the Ministry of Health and Royal Medical Services, have already received the diploma, and a second batch of graduates has already commenced their diploma. Meanwhile, some have become palliative coordinators in their hospitals, training train other medical staff on palliative care and helping spread these practices throughout Jordan.
Still, Dr. Shamieh and his colleagues know that much remains to be done, especially with raising public awareness about the benefits of palliative care and continuing to campaign with decision makers about the benefits of palliative care. Universal Health Coverage In the meantime, KHCC has proved how beneficial that care can be for both the hospital and the patients. In fact, since 2015, the Center has increased its treatment capacity from 2,000 patients to 4,000—marking an incredible 100 percent increase.
Dr. Omar hopes a national palliative care service will create more employment for the medical sector and, in particular, for graduates of the palliative care programme. Ultimately, he would like to see a national palliative care institution to carry forward the important work he and his colleagues, with USAID support, have begun.
PHOTO ALBUM: KHCC Successfully Launches the National Palliative Healthcare Initiative and Conducts ToT on Health Policy
On Sunday, April 29, USAID JCP brought together members of Jordan’s National Palliative Care Committee and successfully launched the National Palliative Care Initiative under a two-year USAID grant to the King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC). This initiative aims at professionalizing a new home healthcare industry in the Kingdom. The high-profile activity, which has earned the backing of the Ministry of Health and key private-sector stakeholders—including insurance providers—will add an estimated 1,800 jobs to the Jordanian economy over the next three years. After approving the National Strategic Framework, KHCC conducted a train-of-trainer (ToT) course on Palliative and Home Care Health Policy targeting health policy makers from governmental and non- governmental entities. The training built the capacity of participants to become advocates for palliative and home health care within their own institutions.