In Egypt, number of individuals that are in need of short- or long-term non-hospital health care is increasing. Working family members rarely are available, have the time, or have the necessary skills to provide the required health services and care at home. All this brings the need for training home health care providers (HHCP). It is estimated that about 400,000 elderly people are in need of some kind of assisted living to be able to continue living at their homes. If only 10% of those can afford to hire a caregiver, there would be a need to train at least 40,000 care providers in the near future to meet that demand.
Towards a Solution
In 2004, Care with Love, a registered organization (# 5241 / 2003), translated this need into Home Health Care Programme assistance to the elderly and others who are homebound by creating a new professional niche: home healthcare. It selects smart, compassionate recruits by providing training and access to decent employment and most importantly a chance to contribute positively to those in their care. It creates jobs without burdening the government, provides a desperately needed service at an affordable cost, and sets a professional and compassionate tone for caregiving.
HHCPs provide services in:
- Assisted living(Personal hygiene, Eating, Assistance with mobility, and Social support);
- Home Health Care(Measuring vital signs, dispensing medications, wound care, catheter care, and tube feeding).
The programme is open to young men and women between the ages of 17-35 interested in becoming HHCP on selection basis. The selection process is based on the level of interest as well as ability. Fluency in Arabic reading and writing is a requirement, in addition to passing the entrance exam.
To become certified HHCP the young people, should complete a training of HHCP for four months long. The training curriculum is a well-balanced mixture of in the classroom and lab training where the trainees are trained to acquire the needed basic skills, and practical field experience at health institutions where they apply what they learned and can gain confidence and hands-on experience.
Prior to certification, Care with Love arranges one-month internships with seasoned home healthcare providers who offer guidance, close and supportive supervision, and evaluation. In fact, evaluation by more senior providers and by clients is an ongoing part of Care with Love’s effort, not only to ensure mastery of technique but also to monitor and provide helpful feedback on maturity, personal growth, and adjustment. Following completion of the course, students take an exam, and the 80 percent who pass attend a formal ceremony recognizing their achievement.
To support and spread this new profession, Care with Love arranges partnerships with private hospitals to offer both an institutional shelter to home healthcare providers and secure employee benefits like insurance. It has arranged for health institutions where the graduates will work to cover the cost of training or offer loans to students, payable in installments following graduation. It has secured an offer from the Ministry of Health to provide an institutional shelter for home health providers, granting them full insurance and employment benefits as hospital employees.
Care with Love also provides institutional health care provider training for multiple types of facilities. Institutions that provide specialized health care services often rely on Care with Love to train their staff. This includes polyclinics, orphanages, and other care centers.
To date, this programme has trained and certified over 936 home healthcare serving homebound clients primarily in the greater Cairo area, with a few working in other areas: Alexandria and the North coast.
Supported by: Ministry of Health; the Center for Geriatric Services (a not-for-profit organization); the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (NGO); and Asalam Hospital
Implementing entity: Care with Love
Project Status: Ongoing
Project Period: 2004-ongoing
URL to the Practice: www.cwlegypt.org
Name: Nelly Bahgat
Title: South-South Development Academy Egypt