The Kenya edition of ehospice reports that close to 70 health care givers from Mbagathi District Hospital took part in a recent training session which aimed to provide health professionals with knowledge about palliative care – with emphasis on pain management.
During the training session, it emerged that nurses are still fearful of prescribing morphine despite understanding the level of the patient’s pain level to be severe. The nurses said their knowledge of morphine being addictive kept them from prescribing it to alleviate severe pain.
Dr Asaph Kinyanjui, KEHPCA’s education and research officer, provided evidence from research that indicated that less than 1% of patients with life limiting illnesses showed signs of addiction to strong opioids with proper administration of these drugs in accordance to the World Health Organization’s pain management ladder.
Mbagathi hospital is one of the district hospitals into which KEHPCA and the Ministry of Medical Services aim to integrate palliative care services in the near future. However, KEHPCA’s programs officer, Mr. David Musyoki told the nurses not to wait for the palliative care unit to be established for them to put their skills into practice – he urged them to start providing palliative care at the bedside. “Palliative care can be given anywhere as long as you understand the needs of the patient and how to go about it.” he said.