With Merus County population facing a growing burden of NCDs amongst an increasingly expanding adult population, Kanyakine Sub-County Hospital located in Imenti South Sub- County is amongst health facilities in Meru County to benefit from the Blueprint for Innovative Healthcare Access Project.
With the projects aim of strengthening high-quality, integrated, and consistent local healthcare capacity and capabilities across the patient journey. KEHPCA as part of the project consortium implementing organization, focused on improving access to palliative care services for people living with palliative care needs in Meru County
Since introduction of palliative care (PC) services within the facility in January 2022, the facility has identified and offered PC services to over 50 patients in need of palliative care with different diagnosis ranging from Cancer, diabetes, HIV &AIDs, dementia, arthritis among others.
The project has supported training of health care professionals in palliative care and has continued to provide post training mentorship &support supervision.
On 22nd of November 2022 KEHPCA visited and held a meeting with the Palliative care team where they narrated the benefits of the training received including; proper pain assessment and its management, wound care among others.
“ I used to assume patients pain, but after undergoing palliative care training, I am now confident to assess and manage pain.” narrated one of the health care workers.
Following linkages by KEHPCA the facility received 50 bottles of morphine from the government for pain management that have since also been shared with other health facilities in the County.
Being a new service within the facility, the team is inspired and acknowledges the importance of palliative care. Challenges experienced include; many patients reporting financial challenges to hinder travel to access PC and NHIF payment. The palliative care wish to provide home based care a service that the facility has no resources to support.
Some of the recommendations discussed include; (i) need to train more healthcare workers on palliative care, (ii) a dedicated health care team leader to coordinate the services (iii) strengthened partnership with other PC providers including Meru hospice (iii) continued palliative care awareness creation targeting the general community for utilization of PC services and community support of palliative care initiatives.