In Kericho County, western Kenya, communities are facing the harsh realities of terminal illnesses without adequate support. There is no public provision of palliative care in the county, and with a population of over 900,000 people, many individuals in this rural setting battling non-communicable diseases like cancer, are facing physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges without proper care and support. Over the past year we have begun work with a new partner, Oasis of Hope, a dedicated local community organization, led by experienced palliative care nurse Leonard Kiprono.

In response to this pressing need, Hospice Care Kenya and Oasis of Hope have launched the Palliative Care Empowerment Program. This initiative aims to provide comprehensive training and support to volunteer caregivers, religious leaders, and healthcare workers in the community.

The project kicked off in January 2023 and has witnessed remarkable progress, with participants showing a significant improvement in their understanding of palliative care. Over the course of a year, we trained 70 individuals, including health care workers, volunteer caregivers, and religious leaders, in palliative care awareness, knowledge, and skills, using a curriculum tailored to the cultural context of Kericho County. These trained individuals now serve as ambassadors for palliative care in their communities, advocating for better access to services and providing essential support to those in need. Volunteer caregivers are better equipped to provide physical and emotional care to their patients, while religious leaders play a crucial role in offering spiritual support and guidance.  Families caring for loved ones with terminal illnesses now receive enhanced support. Patients benefit from improved symptom management and holistic care, leading to a better quality of life during their journey.

“The training has given me a lot of knowledge on palliative care and how to take care of a cancer patient. I now have a lot of courage to give hope, medication and train the patient’s family members to understand palliative care and how to take care of the patient at home. My own husband has cancer and the caregivers training has helped me learn a lot on how to take care and talk to him so we no longer need to spend so much money and time looking for someone to help us.”


Looking ahead, we envision sustaining this momentum and continuing the project into 2024 and beyond. With a growing network of trained individuals and ongoing collaboration with local healthcare facilities, we aim to expand the reach of the project and its impact. By supporting Oasis of Hope to advocate for palliative care at both grassroots and policy levels, we hope to create lasting change and ensure access to quality care for all in Kericho County.

Read more here about Esther Rono and her husband Samwel’s journey with cancer and palliative care.

Empowering Kericho County with Palliative Care: The Oasis of Hope Initiative
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