In the beginning, the dream was to build a safe haven to care for children with life-limiting conditions. The dream captured the hearts of many who came to rally support for the cause. This marked the launch of Rachel House and the plans for building Indonesia’s first purpose-built children’s hospice.
When the service was piloted at a 3-bed inpatient hospice, we heard again and again the cries of the little ones who begged to go home. After months and years of chemotherapy and invasive treatments, they pleaded to go home to be close to their friends. In response to this plea, our nurses traded their uniforms for helmets and jackets to travel the crowded streets of Jakarta to reach these children in their homes.
9 years and more than 500 children later, Rachel House is today an acknowledged leader in home-based pediatric palliative care service in Jakarta. Our nurses have become the “model” nurses invited to share their knowledge at major hospitals and nursing faculties, and participate in difficult case discussions at some of the largest national referral hospitals in Indonesia.
However, so much more is needed. As Indonesia’s President Jokowi said, “thousands of people have been dying at home…and 500,000 people sick at home (in Jakarta)” without access to medical care (Reuters News “Indonesia Nationwide Healthcare Plans”).
This harsh reality led us to commit to building a palliative care ecosystem to help ensure that pain and symptom management is available and accessible by all, from primary to tertiary healthcare setting, to prevent and relieve suffering. We are actively working to disseminate palliative care skills and knowledge to medical professionals at public hospitals and puskesmas (primary health clinics), while reinforcing the community’s capacity by empowering community volunteers in basic palliative care knowledge.
We hope that you will join us as we build a world-class palliative care ecosystem in Indonesia and transform the healthcare system for generations to come.