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Training more health care workers to enhance palliative care

Author: Aquinas Nyakundi
31 May 2014

Health Care Workers from Mount Kenya region complete a five day palliative care training.

Over 20 health care workers drawn from hospitals in Mount Kenya region completed a five day introduction to palliative care training held in Nyeri with support from Tropical Health and Education Trust.

During the training the trainees were subjected to various situations that present in the palliative care field and how to address them.

Such situations included breaking bad news, communication, counseling, pain management as well as a session on writing most significant stories among others.

Response from the trainees;

‘After training, I have learnt that there is no harm in giving morphine, it has no ceiling dose as well as the dosage during break through pain. This will ensure that there is no delay in relieving pain.’

‘After training, I feel equipped to approach the matter of sexuality in palliative care with confidence.

Training coordinator and palliative care nurse Lydia Warui from Nyeri Provincial General Hospital (PGH) informed the trainees that the next step will be to undertake a three day clinical placement commencing June 16th to August 20th 2014, three days on a weekly basis.

“This placement will be split to two days at hospice and one day at hospital so as to give participants a feel of community based and hospital based palliative care available at the hospice and the palliative care unit respectively,” Said Warui.

She appreciated all for coming within a short notice and thanked them for their corporation. “I hope the training has made us change our attitudes towards our patients,” she added.

Warui said that with time, they hope to strengthen palliative care as there are plans to roll it down from PGH to wherever they are, training being one of the steps.

“We hope you will be able to share what you have learnt with your colleagues at your place of work,” she said.

Majority of the participants recorded a post test score of between 81% and 90% after the training.

On behalf of the participants, Dr Andrew Kamau from Mount Kenya Hospital thanked the participants for availing themselves, their great teamwork, punctuality and cooperation throughout the training period.

“We’ve had a good time and it has been a successful learning experience. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to come and learn. Every session was exciting. A message to take home is that death can come to us any time. Let us be considerate to our patients,” said Dr Kamau.

Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA)’s Training and Education Officer Dr Asaph Kinyanjui thanked the University of Edinburgh and African Palliative Care Association (APCA) under the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) for their continued support towards training health care workers to strengthen and integrate palliative care into health systems.

Dr Kinyanjui said that the training aims at equipping health care workers with skills to handle palliative care patients within their health institutions.

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