Pain is an indicator of an underlying disease. When not addressed, it leads to torture; affecting the patient’s life, the family and the society at large. That is why it is good to understand the urgency that is there in addressing pain management and not just locally but globally. People need to be sensitized on pain relief concepts and hence making it the 5th vital sign.
Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) has been on the front line in creating pain management awareness. KEHPCA team has been travelling to different counties in the country with one objective; to pitch the idea of hospitals running a pain management training program. Well, the training is also referred to as Pain Free Hospital Initiative (PFHI) and is supported by Treat the Pain– a program of the American Cancer Society. It targets every interested health worker. In regards to this, Dr. Asaph Kinyanjui, the Director of Programs at KEHPCA and Advocacy officer David Musyoki took a trip to Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital (KTRH) to introduce pain management concepts to the hospital management.
The KTRH is a facility that serves a huge population and has a functional palliative care unit. The unit has two qualified and passionate nurses. In addition, it has the essentials needed to operate; which includes opioids medication such as oral morphine solution. It has been offering palliative care services to outpatients, inpatients and referrals from Nyamira, Migori, Homabay and Narok counties and hence the need to start off the PFHI here.
Dr. Enoch Ondari, Chief Executive Officer at Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital pledged his support towards this course. He said that the project is coming at the best time and welcomed the idea. His goal is to have 80% of health workers sensitized on pain management.
“Pain and palliative care should be part and parcel of the health care system,” further explained Dr. Ondari.
The hospital expressed the need for a vehicle so as to make provision of home-based care services effective. At the moment, they have to find other means of transport and it is quite a challenge.
KEHPCA will accord them any support that they may need.