Health care providers received a one week training at Homa Bay District Hospital to equip them with quality skills and knowledge for provision of comprehensive palliative care services.

This is part of a three year project approved by the UK Department for International Development through its Health Partnerships Multi-country Partnership Scheme to support the programme for strengthening palliative care integration into National Health Systems in four countries namely Kenya Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.

Participants were selected from all departments within the hospital based on their interest in palliative care.

Dr Liru, a paeditrician at the hospictal, officially opened the training on behalf of the medical superintendent and emphasized on the need for integration of palliative care services in the region.

“The region has a high burden of HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life threatening illnesses.” Dr Liru said.

Facilitators of the training were drawn from various fields of specialization and exposure including Kisumu Hospice.

The trainers tackled various topics in palliative care including adult pain management, paediatric palliative care principles, breaking bad news,ethical and legal issues in palliative care among others.

The trainees were divided into six groups that could take a clinical placement at Kisumu Hospice, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital and Siaya Hospice.

These clinical placement cites will offer them a wide exposure of palliative care provision at both hospice level and hospital level.

Kisumu hospice team  will be incharge of placement in terms of guidance and logistics since they have vast experience in placemnet and mentorship.

The project seeks to enhance the provision of quality and comprehensive treatment, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS and other life threatening illnesses in the four countries.

It will support the development of a model for a comprehensive public and primary health approach to pallliative care.

The project targets 12 hospitals, three from each country. In kenya the selected hospitals are Nyeri Provincial General Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and Homa Bay District Hospital based on the suitability and demand for palliative care.

Homabay District Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Ojwang’ said he was graeful to Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) for selecting the hospital for the project and promised to support the initiative.

Dr Ojwang’ urged participants to put into practice the knowledge they have gained and teach their colleagues who did not attend the training.