Thika level 5 Hospital has an established Palliative Care Unit and have identified Gatundu and Kiambu County Referral Hospital as their mentorship sites with the goal of assisting them set up Palliative Care services.
“We need to bring different health care professionals on board to help elevate Palliative Care. I am looking forward to the opening of a Palliative Care Unit soonest possible in Kiambu hospital” said Grace (Nutritionist- Kiambu County Referral Hospital). Palliative care entails giving holistic care to patients with life threatening illnesses. Team work from clinicians, pharmacists, nutritionist, care givers and family members is essential. Grace has been working with students who come in for practicum from Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) to assist patients in the wards with information on proper nutrition within the hospital.
The five-day workshop that took place on 11th– 15th April at Kiambu County Referral hospital was facilitated by Edith and Joyce – Palliative care nurses from Thika Level 5 hospital. 14 health care workers from Kiambu hospital were taught on various topics on introduction to palliative care course. This was the inception of a conversation on integration of palliative care services in the hospital, held 3 months ago with the Deputy Nurse Manager- Kiambu County Referral Hospital; KEHPCA team and Thika level 5 palliative care nurses.
Thika Level 5 hospital Palliative care nurses were the lead facilitators of the workshop. KEHPCA team, assisted in facilitating a few topics on symptoms and pain management for adults and children, pain assessment, ethical and legal aspects in Palliative Care and Roles of a Palliative Care Oncology. The hospital management provided a conference hall and meals for the trainers and participants during the training.
“This has been the most interesting workshop in my life, I have learnt more on what I am passionate about. KEHPCA and Thika Team have impacted knowledge that will assist us help patients within Kiambu and in the community” said madam Kairu (Nurse in Kiambu Comprehensive Care Center). As a nurse, Kairu enjoys her nursing roles in CCC and hopes that she uses the same practice in the palliative care unit. The interactive session, involved role plays acted by the health care workers to enable them face situations while breaking bad news to patients and their family members.“We hope the health county government funds will be allocated to the hospital to help equip the palliative care unit. This will assist us implement what we have learnt within the 5 days workshop” said Immaculate a CCC nurse – Kiambu County Referral Hospital.
Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) the umbrella body of palliative care services in Kenya, seeks to help more hospitals and hospices by training health care workers on Palliative care. Continuous Medical Education training help to increase knowledge in their daily practice, change perceptions of health care workers on health care practices, educate them on ways of taking care of patients with life threatening illnesses and communicate with the patients.
Different regions in the country suffer different cancer. One of the nurses pointed out that the most popular type of cancer cases they are dealing with around Kiambu County is cervical cancer. The health care workers promised to work as a team, bring more health care workers on board from all departments to help the patients with information and support them to make their lives comfortable.