Car manager affixes a "Gloria Medizentrum" sticker to a medical centre vehicle

24. October 2022

24. October 2022

Professional help caring for the sick and dying in the Republic of Moldova

Living conditions of the elderly in the Republic of Moldova have been challenging for a long time. As a result of the war in neighbouring Ukraine, they have once again significntly deteriorated. Even paying for “normal” daily life necessities becomes a struggle when a monthly pension is between 80 and 120 euros, but the cost of living is comparatively high. The elderly who are sick have a special need for support. In Ceadîr-Lunga, the small town where wortundtat is active, municipal social services is not able to hire nursing staff to care for such people. Our palliative and nursing service at the Gloria Medical Centre is therefore a blessing for many who would otherwise be left sick and dying at home with no care or help.

Three examples show how elderly, sick, or dying people in the Republic of Moldova receive medical care and emotional support from our nursing staff.

7.50 euros per care visit

Our nursing team visits 15-20 patients daily. The cost per visit is around 7.50 euros. This means we can pay the nurses’ wages, pay for care products and medicines and a driver – in the Republic of Moldova only a few women have a driving licence – petrol and car servicing costs.
While the costs for around five patients who each receive palliative care are paid for by the Council, we must pay for the other expenses ourselves.

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Candle, pictures of saints, medical paraphernalia, bottle of water
Not all people dying in the Republic of Moldova have someone to care for them in their final weeks and months of life.

Loving care for the dying from nurses, carers and and neighbours

The first patient we visited was 81 years old. She had breast cancer and was bedridden. When we met her, she had a large open wound on ther chest, which was treated by the palliative care nurses both expertly and caringly. In the final weeks of her life, she had the help of a carer hired by her son. To pay for such care, her son moved to Britain to find work. He says he can’t take care of his mother himself, but at least he knows she is in good hands. Because caring for Dora is also physically demanding, a neighbour occasionally comes round. She helps the carer to turn the patient in bed. The neighbour’s granddaughter comes around to see her and every now and then sings a song for Dora.

Conversations with medical professionals have shown that people in the Republic of Moldova often avoid or put off for as long as possible seeing a doctor because they’re afraid of hearing the outcome of examination and tests or they shy away from the cost that a medical treatment could entail. So, the outcome is that treatment often comes too late, or the costs are simply not affordable. Dora draws a pension of about 2,000 Moldovan leu, which corresponds to about 105 euros (as of October 2022).

More recent reports from the Republic of Moldova

Returning to health after bad initial care

This 80-year-old patient had collapsed over her gas stove and burned her shoulder. Instead of going to the emergency room with her, which would have meant an exceedingly long waiting time, her son went to the pharmacy to buy medication that he hoped would help. Only when the injury became infected, did he contact the outpatient service at Gloria. He took such good care of the injury that it has almost completely healed.

The patient is known at Gloria; in winter, she has been a regular guest at the women’s winter hostel for a number of years. Her small cottage – an approximately 16-square-meter room with a 2-square-meter hallway that still houses the gas stove – has no heating. The cottage is located on the property belonging to one of her daughters-in-law. Her daughter-in-law’s husband passed away 20 years ago, but she still cares for his mother.

old woman sitting on her bed, next to her is a walking stick, a carpet hangs on the wall
Despite being 80 years old, this woman can still take care of herself. Only after an accident, did she need temporary medical care.

Already with 7.50 euros per day the ambulatory care service cares for a patient.

2 outpatient nurses treat the foot of a patient sitting in a chair
If diabetes is not treated properly, circulation disorders may have permanent consequences for feet.

Complications caused by diabetes

The lady in the chair has diabetes, which has led to circulation disorders on one of her feet. The wound must be treated medically. Two nurses oversee this treatment. They also give the woman painkillers, look after the right leg, while letting her know that someone cares. Her daughter-in-law, who lives in the same house with three grandchildren, helps with the rest of things. She’s a single parent. Her husband – and son of the lady with diabetes – walked out. The three children go to our daycare centre in the village.

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7.50 euros per care visit…

… that’s all it costs for our outpatient nursing service. This means we can pay the nurses’ wages, pay for care products and medicines and a driver – in the Republic of Moldova only a few women have a driving licence – petrol and car servicing costs.

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