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The Ministry of Health is delighted to support the 4th National Palliative Care Conference that will be held from 12th to 14th November at the Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi.

Why is it important to support palliative care? As the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health, I am fully aware that it is hard to live with a serious illness. Most times a sick person may feel lonely, angry, scared, or sad. They may feel that their treatment is doing more harm than good. They may have pain or other disturbing symptoms. Palliative care helps patients and their loved ones cope with all of these things. It is the kind of care given to people who have serious illnesses like cancer; HIV/AIDs, advanced diabetes, etc. Palliative care focuses on improving a patient’s quality of life by focusing on the body, mind and spirit.

It is now time we think of supporting palliative care centers and hospices. If we do so, we shall have a lot of people living comfortably to the end of their lives.

Improvement will see palliative care taught in undergraduate courses and also extended to the years after graduation. Palliative care needs to be incorporated in the experience and practice of every general and specialist practitioner, becoming indeed “every healthcare provider’s business”

The Ministry of Health has partnered with Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) to integrate palliative care into the public health care system, starting with level 5 hospitals and going forward now extending to level four hospitals. It is the wish of the MoH that these very essential services will be provided at all levels of care across the country and that they should also be available in non public institutions including mission and private hospitals.

This year’s theme: ‘Palliative care is everyone’s business’ is relevant because palliative care is an issue that will affect all of us at some point in our lives, whether as a patient, carer, family member or neighbour. It is, indeed, very crucial that as a nation we all support our patients and their loved ones. Together we can make a difference. Let us all join hands to share this responsibility and support hospice and palliative care in Kenya.

I wish to welcome you all to the conference which promises to be very value adding and informative.

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The Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) is delighted to announce that the 4th National Palliative Care Conference will take place from 12th to 14th November 2014 at the Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi.

Since 2008, KEHPCA has been holding a national palliative care conference biennially, bringing together experts, care givers, patients, policy makers and many others to share experiences and deliberate on hospice and palliative care issues. In 2012, over 350 people attended the last conference which was a great success.

This year the conference promises to be even more exciting, creating an opportunity for delegates to hear from international, regional and national speakers; network with hundreds of decision makers and explore the latest developments in palliative care at the national, regional and international platform. This year’s theme: Palliative care is everyone’s business’ is relevant because palliative care is an issue that will affect all of us at some point in our lives, whether as a patient, carer, family member, neighbour or friend.

KEHPCA, together with its partners, has been at the fore of advances in palliative care in Kenya, focusing on integrating Palliative care into health care systems; developing National Palliative Care Guidelines and National Palliative Care Training Curriculum; advocating for patients’ legal rights; pioneering the integration of medical and nursing undergraduate training in palliative care and working with the Ministry of Health and the Oncology team in Kenya to ensure that palliative care is included in the National Guidelines for Cancer Management and other relevant documents.

The call for abstracts and registration starts on 1st April 2014. Please visit the conference website http://www.kehpca.org/conference for more information. Please remember to summit an abstract.

We look forward to seeing you at the conference.


Dr Zipporah Ali

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