” I will not run away from parents when they inquire about diagnosis and prognosis of their children admitted in our ward” comment from one of the participant during the half day workshop at Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital (Nakuru PGH).
Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) is the umbrella body of palliative care services in Kenya. KEHPCA works together with the Ministry of health, government hospitals, Hospices’, and Community based centers to integrate Palliative care. The palliative care unit at the Nakuru PGH organized for a half day workshop to sensitize multidisciplinary team of health care workers from paediatric department on the benefits of integrating paediatric palliative care services. “We have realized that there are very few children being referred to our palliative care unit, I hope the workshop will help increase referrals” said Mercy (Palliative Care coordinator- Nakuru PGH)
The session was very interactive and the following areas were covered; communication with children and parents, principals of paediatric palliative care and pain management. The sessions were facilitated by facilitators from the palliative care team and KEHPCA. The facilitators were impressed by the participants enthusiasm; “I am impressed by the group energy and I hope we will continue with this pace even after the workshop” commented one of the facilitators.
Additionally, KEHPCA team visited Nakuru hospice and were encouraged by the developments at the hospice. The hospice has established a training hall and will start providing palliative care and other courses soon. “The training hall is ready; we have finished renovating and equipping it, soon we will start training“ said Elizabeth (Nakuru Hospice Director). The hospice is providing several services including; home based care, outpatient and support group. “The biggest challenge we are facing is on financials. We depend on support from both local and international communities and we have organized for a fundraising walk in May this year. We are urging everyone to join us so that we can be able to support more patients“ urged Elizabeth.
KEHPCA is ready to assist when called upon by any government hospital and hospice to set up palliative care centers; through training nurses and other health care workers to support patients living with life threatening illnesses all over Kenya.