We have received reports from our hospice partners of serious delays in morphine procurement and delivery by the Kenyan Ministry of Health. Initially, our partner hospices told us they were having to ration their morphine supplies; now, many have completely run out. Consequently, patients are suffering unrelieved pain, resulting in physical and emotional distress, not only for the patient but also their families who witness their loved one in continuous agony.

Morphine is a cornerstone of palliative care. It provides essential pain relief for patients with severe, life-limiting illnesses like cancer and advanced Aids, thereby dramatically improving quality of life. In 2016, the Kenyan government committed to purchasing and distributing morphine for palliative care, marking a significant step towards improving access to essential pain relief for palliative care patients. However, purchasing and distributing morphine and other essential drugs to  hospices has not been straightforward, leading to frequent delays and shortages.

To address the urgent shortage, the HCK board made the decision to offer emergency funds to enable our most severely affected independent hospice partners to self-purchase a supply of morphine to plug the gap caused by the delay. We also need to encourage the Kenyan Ministry of Health to deliver an effective service, so we have written to the Kenyan Hospice and Palliative Care Association, requesting that they prioritise advocacy with the MoH to increase commitment to palliative care and quickly resolve the delays.

We need more emergency funds to address this urgent morphine shortage. It costs just £10 to provide a month’s supply of morphine for a person living with cancer. Please help us bring relief from pain and suffering by donating to our morphine appeal today.

HCK emergency fund for critical morphine shortage
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