On 13 October 2012, the streets and shopping malls of Almaty became the stage for flashmob performances organized to celebrate the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. In the middle of Saturday's street bustle a "man of the crowd" suddenly falls to the ground, weak and needing help. Some dark force covers the exhausted man with its cloak and proclaims the fatal diagnosis... Surprised passers-by soon started to realize that it was part of an unusual dance performance where the "patient" was joined by other actors whose roles are indicated on their T-shirts: Doctor, Nurse, Psychologist, Social Worker, Family, Friend, Volunteer and Spiritual Minister. The emotional dance, which sometimes drew the audience to tears, was meant to convey the idea of palliative care multi-task team: a well-coordinated interaction of professionals, family and friends of the terminally ill patient aimed to improve his quality of life. After the performance, doctors and nurses of the Almaty Oncology Centre and other volunteers spoke to the spectators about palliative and hospice care, and the contribution each of us can make for the development of this vital service. With genuine interest, people on the streets read the information leaflets and wrote letters of support to patients of the Almaty Palliative Care Center and the Almaty Oncology Hospital. As the culmination of the event, huge balloons representing Pain, Fear, Loneliness, Suffering and Depression were symbolically released into the air. The event was organized by the Non-Government Foundation "Together Against Cancer" with the support of the Soros-Kazakhstan Foundation.
Written by: Gulnara Kunirova
Monday, 22 October 2012
34-44 Britannia Street, London, WC1X 9JG, United Kingdom