Yayasan Orang Kurang Upaya Kelantan (YOKUK) was established 14 years ago. Since then, we have made satisfying progress to enhance the quality of life for more than 3,700 registered clients throughout Kelantan, Malaysia. Our clients are mainly children and adults suffering from various forms of disabilities from Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral palsy, physically handicapped or suffer from some other forms of disabilities to stroke, hydrocephalus, blind, deaf and dumb and many other types of disabilities. Further to that, most of these clients come from the underprivileged part of the society. Currently, YOKUK provides rehabilitation services, relying very much on public support, individuals and corporate sponsors as it does not receive any regular grants.

Headquartered in Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan, YOKUK is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that assists underprivileged differently-abled people via healthcare, welfare and educational programmes. YOKUK’s mobile palliative care started in August 2012 and they now have 113 registered patients, of which 86 of them were active patients who required regular visits and treatment. 27 of its patients passed away with improved condition and their families were also assisted with grief counselling.  

YOKUK has successfully conducted to date 937 home visits from August 2014 up to April 2015. The free services provided by the community nurse and palliative care assistants include on the ground training to caregivers of patients on how to handle basic and routine nursing care at home, palliative care, medical referrals, bereavement counselling, psychosocial and spiritual support. 

Earlier in May, CEO Puan Hajjah Yatela Zainal Abidin and representatives from the foundation made a visit to YOKUK’s operations to learn more about the daily workload of the unsung heroes of the palliative care community, namely the community nurses and palliative care assistants.  

Wan Muhammad Syarif’s daily routine involves making rounds to at least three homes in the district of Bachok and Pasir Puteh with another colleague where they also carry out assessments based on the family’s needs and help them apply for financial aid from the Social Welfare Department.  

Hajjah Yatela Zainal Abidin hopes that the foundation’s contribution would in some way heighten awareness on the mobile palliative care unit in the state and more importantly help more palliative patients in Kelantan get the best care and treatment they need to continue with their lives in the best way possible.     

The contribution of YOKUK will hopefully ease the burden of the patients and their families and also educate them through training by the palliative care assistants and nurses on basic nursing care including how they can look after their ailing family members. There is a misconception that palliative care is merely about counselling, but many do not understand that it is an active field of medicine that applies interventions requiring knowledge and skills. She expects to see palliative care as a growing medical field in our country with more take-ups from fresh nursing graduates.”

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