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Light at the end of the tunnel

Author: Sarah Maloba
15 February 2017

In the outskirts of Mombasa town lies new hope for the people of Changamwe, a bright new dawn. Access to quality palliative care to all who need it.

In the outskirts of Mombasa town lies new hope for the people of Changamwe, a bright new dawn. Access to quality palliative care to all who need it.

Bomu Hospital is a social enterprise whose purpose is to provide access to quality healthcare for all, regardless of their economic status. It has been delivering quality healthcare since 1970’s when a group of citizens realized the need of accessible and affordable health care service in the surrounding communities. The hospital provides inpatient, outpatient care, home visits, play therapy for the children, continuous medical health education and has entertainment days for the patients. It serves approximately 1000 patients per month.

In 2012 after intensive research and observation they realized there was need of palliative care services. This was due to the fact that most of their patients who had life threatening illnesses like cancer and HIV/AIDS were not coping well and needed other approaches like;holistic,emotional and psychosocial approach so that they are able to live a normal life.

Some of the challenges they face are limited human resource due to the overwhelming patients and handling children amongst others. Most of the patients come from low resource background and hence most are unable to afford for care. This makes the hospital experience some loss of revenue and cut down other costs in order to support such patients. Speaking to Gaudencia Afwande, a palliative care nurse in Bomu hospital says that “saving a life is more important than money”.

The current doctors strike that has affected service delivery in most public hospitals has led to increase in number of patients being referred to Bomu hospital to access palliative care services making the palliative care unit staff overwhelmed.

Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) played a big role in supporting the integration of these services by training the staff and educating them about palliative care. Gaudencia is really grateful especially to Dr. Zipporah Ali, the executive director of KEHPCA, who helped her in getting a scholarship to further her education in palliative care.

The palliative care unit at Bomu hospital operates during week days from 8am-5pm and accepts all patients without discrimination.

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