‘We are with you!’ campaign was held to support palliative care patients of the NationalOncologyCenter on October 12 in Bishkek. On this day, young people gathered at one of the Bishkek shopping centers to fold origami cranes and improve their knowledge about palliative care.

This charity event was organized by the SFK Public Health Programme and Youth Foundation ‘Kyrgyz Japon Birimdigi’ with support of one of the Bishkek shopping centers. It began with a Japanese Tendo drums performance, which immediately caught visitor’s attention. Guests were greeted by Ilim Sadykov, Coordinator of the Public Health Programme, who spoke about the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day and support provided to seriously ill people in Kyrgyzstan.

‘The purpose of today’s campaign is to draw attention of the public to palliative care and celebrate the worldwide hospice and palliative care movement’ he said.

Ibarat Samakova, Director of the Foundation ‘Kyrgyz Japon Birimdigi’ explained that Japanese origami crane was a symbol of longevity and hope. It became known as such throughout the world from the true story of Sadako Sasaki, a girl diagnosed with leukemia, who wanted to fold a thousand paper cranes in hope of surviving. Her classmates and the entire Land of the Rising Sun supported her.

The staff and volunteers of ‘Kyrgyz Japon Birimdigi’ demonstrated how to fold paper cranes. All the cranes and humanitarian aid (food and hygiene packages) were later delivered the Palliative Care Department of the NationalOncologyCenter. Notably, some participants expressed willingness to visit palliative care patients and become volunteers.

Thus, paper cranes made by Bishkek residents and guests for people struggling with cancer have become a symbol of their support and attention.

‘Patients used to treat guests with caution, but today they are open and happy to see them, this is just amazing!’ said Astra Arzymatova, MD, Head of the Palliative Care Department of the National Oncology Center.

Throughout the world, the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is celebrated on the second Saturday of October. Palliative care is a treatment approach that improves the quality of life of patients struggling with life-threatening diseases, and their families. Hospice, a form of palliative care, is a specialized medical institution providing care to terminal patients.

The Public Health Programme of Soros-Foundation Kyrgyzstan has, for several years, provided technical, methodological and consultative assistance in the field of palliative care in Kyrgyzstan.
The video about event in kyrgyz language https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBcFvssMjqs&feature=youtu.be