Linet Muriithi is a social worker at Nyeri Provincial General Hospital (PGH). She tells of her story into palliative care that started with a negative attitude towards it in 2009.
During her second year at Technical University of Mombasa, she had a chance to train in palliative care with Family Health Option Kenya.
“My understanding of Palliative Care from the training was that this was care for the bed-ridden dying patients that can only be offered in hospices by hospice staff.” She says.
Later in February 2013, M/s. Muriithi joined Nyeri PGH where she works in the Comprehensive Care Clinic (CCC) as a social worker, at the time concentrating on physical and social care of patients.
In April 2013, M/s. Muriithi says that she trained with Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) leading to a different understanding and change of perception towards palliative care.
“I understood that this is care for the people with life limiting illness such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes etc. It can be offered at all stages of illness and involves physical, social, spiritual and cultural care of the patients and their families.” She says.
Despite her initial understanding that palliative care is only offered at hospices, M/s. Muriithi says that she now has a new understanding that it can be offered in hospices, hospitals and at home and it needs a whole team-work of health care workers including doctors, nurses, social workers and radiotherapist as well as spiritual leaders, the family and the community.