Palliative Care recognised in Cancer Clinical Guidelines

Categories: Policy.

Stakeholders from the health sector held a weeklong consultative forum to work on guidelines for managing various forms of common cancers in the country.

This follows the recognition by the Ministries of Health (Medical Services and Public Health and Sanitation) that there is a growing burden of non-communicable diseases in Kenya and therefore an urgent need to develop a comprehensive guideline for health care workers managing patients with these diseases.

Key amongst them is cancer, which is costing the county dearly in terms of care and commodities required to manage it.

The forum was tasked at harmonizing guidelines that form an informatory base about most cancers, common among them breast and cervical cancers in women and prostate cancer in men.

Other cancers that featured in the forum include cancer of the oesophagus, children cancers, head and neck tumors.

Cancer prevention and awareness creation among Kenyans were other components handled at the forum.

In coming up with these guidelines, palliative care was encompassed as a key component in all areas and at end of life, which cancer tends to put many in.

Key areas in palliative care that were tackled at the forum include psychosocial issues, spiritual care, pain and symptom management and communication.

The formulation of these guidelines will help the health care providers have a reference on what they need to do at their different levels of health care provision.

They will act as summary guidelines for health care providers on what to do in case they come across a cancer related ailment.

The guidelines will outline the treatment for each ailment but details of the treatment will be available in the treatment protocol.

The forum incorporated oncology, radiotherapy, surgery, pathology, palliative care and policy specialists as well as patients whose input was critical toward the formulation of the guidelines.

Full details of the guidelines will be available once the finalized document is out in about one or two month’s time.

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