Palliative Care Service
This program was started in the hospital in 2009 to bridge the gap existing in provision of quality care for patients diagnosed with incurable illnesses mostly cancer. HIV/AIDS remains the countrys' most significant social economic and developmental challenge with campaigns on prevention, care and the benefits of ARV provision. There remains an unmet need in palliative care provision for those who are infected (patient) and affected ( family and significant others).
Palliative care is defined as the care given to patients with incurable illness, improving on the quality of life for both patient and family. The care is applicable from diagnosis focusing on prevention and relief of suffering by early identification, assessment and treatment of pain and other problems be they physical, psychosocial or spiritual.
Patients are referred for the care from the different departments in the hospital which include the General Unit (Medicine& Surgery, obstetric and Gynae, Outpatient including ART clinic). Other hospital departments referring patients are Eye Unit and Rehabilitation Orthopedic Unit.
Management of distressing symptoms and especially pain is paramount. We have stocked the hospital Pharmacy with necessary Opioids, and this year we have managed to purchase morphine both powder and injection form to ensure good pain control.
Our key objective for year 2011 is to strengthen hospital palliative care service through timely interventions, in house CME and training among staff and other professionals. Awareness creation in the community and education on the same on palliative care concept also remains key to having more patients seek the service. To achieve this, we need both local and international support and ensure holistic service provision.