Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association is supporting the Garissa level_ 5 hospitals to scale up provision of palliative care services in the community by training health care workers and creating awareness in the community through media and other community channels. Majority of palliative care patients are in the rural or remote areas with limited access to health services, community health care workers act as a link between hospitals and the community and play a key role in disseminating health messages and strengthening referral networks.
In centers where community members have been sensitized or the Community Healthcare workers (CHW) have been trained they have reported change on perception from “death’’ to ‘‘quality of life’’ where people thought palliative care is for those who are dying.
“I used to associate hospice with death, I didn`t know that they provide services even to patients who are not dying” said one of the participants.
“The CHW training was quite effective they refer the patients to us though we are not able to follow them up effectively since they are volunteers” said one of the trainer.
This meeting sought to bring out all the willing spiritual leaders together with the Palliative Care Team to make sure that patients and family members are prepared for the journey with the condition and the eventuality of it.
“This information has increased our boundaries of services we offer to the community when we carry out home visits” said one of the participants.
KEHPCA funded by The True Colors Trust, provided technical support Garissa County Referral Hospital to conduct training for 21 Community health care workers in Garissa County,The training was held within the hospital from 16th to 18th May 2016 and it was facilitated by the hospital palliative care team.