As a supporter of Hospice Care Kenya you may know that we were founded in 1991 to support the newly opened Nairobi Hospice. This was the first hospice in Kenya and represented the first step in making palliative care accessible to Kenyans.
Now, 28 years on, Nairobi Hospice is marking another major milestone. The team recently opened the doors to their new modern purpose-built hospice. With six treatment rooms and a large space in which to provide day-care peer-support sessions for patients and their families, the new hospice has the capacity to accept and treat many more patients.
The building has a large training room in which regular courses on palliative care will be held for health workers, to develop palliative care knowledge and skills within the health system. There is also a peaceful courtyard garden for patients.
The hospice is sited next to the Kenyatta National Hospital. The central location makes it more easily accessible to patients and will help the team to build a good working relationship with the hospital. The hospice team is even working towards becoming financially self-supporting by letting out the first floor rooms of the hospice as offices for doctors.
The development of palliative care in Kenya has come such a long way since Nairobi Hospice first opened it’s doors in 1990. There are now over 70 hospices and palliative care centres across Kenya; a remarkable achievement. However there remain many gaps which our work, with your support, continues to address.
Many hospices are small, poorly equipped and operate on very small budgets. We support Busia Hospice in western Kenya. The hospice operates out of a single room. It is run by a retired unsalaried nurse and her assistant, who take just a living allowance as their budget is so tight. They cover a huge catchment area yet they have no means of own transport and struggle to reach patients at home. They receive no government funds. There are many such hospice across Kenya.
By providing support where need is greatest we hope that more hospices across Kenya can transform and develop in the same way as Nairobi Hospice so that equal access to quality palliative care can be achieved across the country.