Ethiopia - Severe Pain

Aster had very severe physical, psychosocial and spiritual pain. This excruciating pain gives discomfort to her and her family.

Global Opioid Policy Initiative

Hospice Ethiopia palliative care nurse explaining medication to the patient and a relative

Aster Bekele is a 28 year-old female cancer patient living in Addis Ababa with her mother and four year-old son. She was married but her husband left her because of her disease. She previously worked as a clerk in a private office but had to give up her job due to her illness.

She was diagnosed ten years ago with Hodgkin's Lyphoma plus bilateral femoral Lymphadenopathy, which has spread throughout the lymph nodes, lung and liver. Aster had very severe physical, psychosocial and spiritual pain. This excruciating pain gives discomfort to her as well as to her family. Sometimes she wants to kill herself and asks god why this has happened.

Hospice Ethiopia palliative care team went to her home and did an excellent assessment of her pain. The team provided pain management such as Etho morph syrup 2.5 mg every four hours and other adjuvant medication for her symptoms. Counseling is given to her as well as to her family. As Aster’s psychosocial problems aggravate her physical state, the hospice provides money for food and rent; poverty is a major problem in Ethiopia.