Grassroots organisation, Hospice Care Kenya places well-being at its heart when supporting the delivery of palliative care services
Here at UK Aid Direct, we want to mark this World Health Day by celebrating the fantastic work our grant holders and their partners do to support the most vulnerable and marginalised with their health.
Palliative care is an essential component of Universal Health Coverage, a key target within the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Hospice Care Kenya has established impactful projects to support hospice and palliative care services for people living with a life-threatening illness in Africa, working to create societies that put well-being at the centre of development and contributing to achieve those goals.
Photo left: Steve, a newly trained community health assistant in charge of supporting community health volunteers in Loodariak, Kajiado pictured with a community health volunteer on the left, helping a patient home after surgery. (Photo by Hospice Care Kenya)
Photo right: A meeting with church leaders in Olutua Ogol, Kajiado County, November 2021. (Photo by Hospice Care Kenya)
About Hospice Care Kenya
In the rural counties of Siaya and Kajiado and in the urban slums of Nairobi, Hospice Care Kenya is working to improve the quality of life of people affected by cancer and life-limiting illness through community-led palliative care in Kenya.
The organisations works with local partners to train community health volunteers and primary healthcare staff in quality and holistic community-based palliative care.
In February 2021, UK Aid Direct was pleased to announce that Hospice Care Kenya had been granted a Small Charities Challenge Fund grant to help them to deliver a two-year project aimed at improving the quality of life for people affected by cancer and life-limiting illness through community-led palliative care in three counties in the country.
From July to December 2021, Hospice Care Kenya delivered all its planned palliative care training for community health volunteers (CHVs) from Siaya County. This covered all aspects of providing home-based care to people living with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses, including counselling and emotional support to patients and their families. This training also included recognising the signs of cancer and raising awareness of common cancers affecting women.
In Nairobi, the organisation trained 55 community health volunteers, from Embakasi and Westlands County, after which the volunteers received home-based care kits to help them to begin their home-based palliative care work in their communities. These kits contained PPE, logbooks, patient records and referral forms, and non-pharmaceutical medical items to ensure volunteers had everything they needed to provide Covid-safe quality care in the homes of their patients.
A further 20 community health volunteers from Kajiado County completed their training in basic home-based palliative care in July 2021.
The story of Annah
Annah Seteiyo Mukue has embraced her role as a community health volunteer in her village in Kajiado County. Her work has earned her the name ‘Mama Safi’ or ‘clean woman’ amongst her community due to the advice she provides in preventing illness by maintaining good hygiene.
Whenever there is a function in the village, she is called upon to ensure cleanliness is maintained during the preparation of food. Annah received little schooling and was married as a teenager. She is now the mother of five grown up children and she says she is honoured to have had the opportunity to be educated on palliative care and the health issues affecting her community and to carry out this important work.
Project partner, Ongata Ngong Palliative Community Care (ONPACC) accompanied Annah during a typical day of home visits to her patients’ homes to provide care for – on this occasion – patients with HIV. Annah has also been attending a group for elderly women to raise awareness of the services she can provide, of cervical and breast cancer, and to ensure women with health worries know where to seek advice.
Photo left and right: Annah invites staff from Ongata Ngong Palliative Community Care (ONPACC) to meet the women’s group she works with. (Photos by Hospice Care Kenya)
- Published for World Health Day 2022, find out how UK Aid Direct supported over 1 million people to improve their health and well-being across the world in 2021.
For further information about the work of Hospice Care Kenya, visit hospicecarekenya.com.