Improving quality of life for persons in need of Palliative Care at Nyambene Sub-County Hospital

Effective provision of palliative care services requires a dedicated workforce, an enabling environment that includes support from the facility administration and the essential palliative care medicines and equipment. That is what you find at the Nyambene Sub-County Hospital in Igembe South Sub-County, Meru County. A dedicated and passionate team across the cadre ranging from doctors, pharmacists, clinical officers, nurses, nutritionist and community health volunteers. All these works together with the aim of improving access to palliative care services for people living with palliative care needs within the region.

The need to integrate provision of palliative care services was brought by the growing burden of NCDs amongst an increasingly adult population of 1.54 million people of Meru County based on Meru County Government Department of Health 2019/2020 data.

Through the Blue print for success initiative in Meru County, health care workers in the facility were trained on palliative care and pain management. The facility works closely with 12 rural clinics that conduct screening for breast and cervical cancers and other life threatening conditions.

On 23rd of November 2022 a team from KEHPCA visited the facility as part of continued mentorship and support supervision. The team noted and acknowledged commendable milestones including the opening of a palliative care unit, integration of palliative care with other services, record keeping and increased pain management services.

For improved services, the team will conduct CMEs within their facility to sensitize other health care workers on palliative care hence greater buy in and support of palliative care initiatives.

To enhance provision of quality life, the team seeks linkages with partners that could assist in provision of colostomy bags for patients in need, train more staff within the facility on palliative care and work with KEHPCA to ensure availability and access to all analgesics for the control and management of pain, including oral morphine.

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