A Diamond In The Rough

Categories: Community Engagement.

“I used to cry everyday after I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, I was not be able to tell my children what I was suffering from but after I started coming to the palliative care unit and attend  my support group meeting, I informed all my family members and now they are aware that am suffering from cancer.”  Said Mweni (not her real name)

In life we all need someone to lean on when times get tough no matter the situation, to not necessarily get us out of the rut we are in, but to just know we have someone walking beside us in that time of need.

At Machakos palliative care unit this is one of the main services offered. Palliative care patients usually meet once a month as a way of supporting one another psychologically by encouraging, giving advice and comforting each other throughout their journey.

The health care providers together with guests from different specialities are usually invited to educate the patients and their families on certain topics such as;

Ø  Nutrition education

Ø  Personal hygiene

Ø  Legal issues in palliative care

Ø  Importance of care givers and their responsibilities among others

Patients who attend the day care really appreciate the support they get from the Palliative Care Unit. “Now am psychologically stable and I believe cancer is just like any other type of disease and thanks to the unit because i also get the best quality type of colostomy bags for free.” said one of the palliative care patients.

As palliative care is everyone’s business, the patients who attend the daycare appreciate the palliative care services and have even been creating awareness in the community through educating and sensitizing others to go for screening for early diagnosis before the disease progresses to late stages. They also take it upon themselves to refer patients who require palliative care in the community.  

The daycare really helps the patients to accept their illnesses and live a dignified and normal life as the others. Palliative care should be embraced and integrated in all health care services in the country as way of supporting the patients who require this noble care. For indeed palliative care may not be easy to administer but it does improve the quality of one’s life, we might as well call it a diamond in the rough.

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