Patients suffering from cancer and other life threatening illnesses undergo one of the most traumatizing and painful moments in their lives. Some die prematurely due to lack of care while for others, the efforts to seek for cure leads to financial constrains to their families.
Some of the treatment modalities including chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions that they go through are also too expensive, especially for the families from low social economic status. As a result, this brings the affected families to conflict due to the high demand of care and attention the patients require. Eventually, the living costs of the family doubles leading to neglect of the patients who are too sick and needy.
“The only gift a patient faced with a life threatening illness requires is proper care.” one of the nurses said during one of the palliative sessions I attended
Family support is paramount in the recovery process of these patients and with proper education and awareness many families will understand their patient’s conditions and so assist in fighting stigmatization that they go through in the society.
Hospice centers and palliative care units in Kenya are playing an important role in helping patients both in the hospital and for those who need home based care services. With proper support from the government, partners and well wishers they will be able to do more. George Waweru from Dondori in Nakuru County is grateful to Nakuru hospice team that has attended to him since he got sick ‘‘the people in this centre are one of few, kind and loving people I have met in my life. They even inspire me not to miss or forget to come for my medicine. Not even my people treat me the way these people do and one way or the other I feel I get better every day.’’
There’s more to be done by all stake holders and giving up is not an option! By the end of the day that cares will reach to all patients in need of palliative care.
“Every sunrise is an invitation for us to arise and brighten someone’s day.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich

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