Palliative care is fundamental to health and human dignity and is a basic human right. People Living With Palliative Care Needs (PLWPCN) therefore should access these services within their county of residence. Located 4 kilometres from Ngong Town, at the slopes of the Ngong Hills in Kajiado County is the Trinity Care Centre (TCC). The cool breeze and fresh air welcomed KEHPCA staff, away from the hot and dry Nairobi city. The centre is beautifully designed with an outdoor sitting option beneath the green trees with a magnificent view of the hills.
The centre offers a range of services that include the following; long term nursing care, palliative care, elder care, in-patient nursing care, counselling and grief services, memory care, ADLS (activities of daily living), companionship, pain & symptom control and end of life care. They also boast of an outpatient facility located within Ngong town that offers outpatient services for the community in the area and also serves as a triage point for clients. Those who need admission are referred to the inpatient facility.
The staff at the centre are well motivated, dedicated offering personalized attention to the PLWPCN. Caregivers undergo training at Avenue Hospital indicating the need for partnerships and support. There is need for further and continuous training in palliative for the staff to ensure that they are at par with developments in the palliative care field.
During the visit, it was evident that cleanliness was maintained in all departments and that the centre cares for PLWPCNs without discrimination. One of the admissions was an elderly lady diagnosed with cancer and has benefitted from long term inpatient nursing for the past 4 years. Other diagnoses included Parkinson’s disease, head injury (due to road traffic injury) and another on supportive care due to hypoxic brain injury and multiple fractures.
The family that founded the facility was inspired to convert their home into a nursing home after giving home based care to a loved one with cancer. “We wanted to offer great care to patients and families going through difficult diagnoses since I realized not many facilities offer this care in Kenya,” said Mrs Ndaba. “We had a hard time finding a care centre for my brother that was affordable, homely and offering personalized support,” she continued. TCC acquired NHIF accreditation and this will help improve access to affordable palliative care services for PLWPCN.
As we left the facility, we came across visitors on their way to see their loved one in the ward. It was amazing to hear how they were full of praises for the TCC team, “Asanteni sana, mmemsaidia sana kijana wetu” (Thank you very much, you have really helped our son) they kept repeating. TCC aims to respect and support the dignity of their clients professionally through integrity in a bid to become the leading palliative care provider in the county.
Author: Dr. Esther Muinga – KEHPCA