First of all, what is Palliative Care? Palliative care is an interdisciplinary approach to specialized medical and nursing care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress at any stage of illness.
The CEO Dr. Evanson Kamuri and Kenyatta National Hospital Head of Palliative care, Dr. Esther Munyoro among other stakeholders are making discussions on matters palliative care and how the community can come in to support the fight against Cancer.
Currently, there are a total of 65 Hospices and palliative care providers across Kenya both of which are private, free, and others are governmental hospitals. In Kenya, palliative care is supposed to be given to patients with life-threating conditions since nobody is supposed to die in pain. This is done through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment, treatment of pain, and holistic treatment.
Palliative care for children (Paediatric palliative care)represents a special, albeit closely related field to adult palliative care. It is a method for delivering competent, compassionate and consistent care to children with chronic, complex and/or life-threatening conditions and their families.
Pediatric Palliative Care does not aim to cure the disease but to prevent suffering and improve the quality of life for Kenya’s youngest terminally ill patients, aged 0-16. Pediatric Palliative Care can be delivered at home, in a hospice, or a hospital, and focuses on treating pain and other physical symptoms, providing psychosocial support, and complementary care and treatment to children suffering life-limiting illnesses and their families and carers.
World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of palliative care appropriate for children and their families is as follows:
There are a total of 65 centers offering palliative care in Kenya. They include;
1. Freestanding Hospices
2. Hospice and Palliative Care Services in the rural community (FBO)
3. Hospices and Palliative Care Services in the Mission Hospitals
4. Government Hospitals with Palliative Care.
5. Private Institutions