The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is supporting the Kenya Prisons Health Services capacity building in different aspects of holistic HIV care and management.  One area of focus is the integration of palliative care services provision to patients and family members facing problems associated with life threatening illnesses.  On 23rd to 27th April 2012, a variety of health care professionals from the Kenya Prisons Services participated in a week long ‘Introduction to Palliative Care’ course facilitated by KEHPCA in conjunction with Nairobi Hospice, Kenyatta National Hospital PCU and other private practitioners.  The participants came from the following 20 institutions in the prisons health department:

  • King’orani Prison
  • Kamiti maximum prison
  • Bomet GK prison
  • Ngeria prison
  • Langatta prison
  • Shimo la Tewa Prison
  • King’orani  prison
  • Isiolo G K Prison
  • Bungoma GK prison
  • Eldoret GK prison
  • Nakuru GK prison
  • Homabay GK prison
  • Nairobi West prison dispensary
  • Langatta Women prison
  • Kakamega GK prison
  • Kasumu main prison
  • Prisons staff training college
  • Muranga GK prison
  • Athi- river prison
  • Nyeri GK prison

The course emphasised care of the whole person, laying emphasis on all aspects of care including physical, psychosocial, spiritual and emotional aspects of care, not only to the patient but also to family members/carers and the community.  Most trainees expressed that the training was a great eye opener to them and the majority committed to change the attitudes of caring for the sick in prisons.  One participant said that the training acted as a mirror through which she observed herself and was now sure of areas that needed change and improvement as she went back to care for prisoners with palliative care needs.  Trainees were made to acknowledge that prisoners too deserve the best health care as any other Kenyan, palliative care and pain management should be provided as a basic right.

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