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Cancer survivors and care givers receive palliative care training at Aga Khan University Hospital

<p></p><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">The Aga Khan University Hospital recently hosted the first ever palliative training with a course content specifically tailored for cancer survivors and family care givers to empower them with knowledge and skills necessary to serve patients with palliative care needs in the community.

</span></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Palliative care focuses on improving quality of life of patients with life threatening illnesses through assessment and management of physical symptoms and attention to psychosocial and spiritual needs. <span style="line-height: 1.42857;">There are gaps in continuity of care of cancer patients who have palliative care needs between the hospital and the community level.

</span></span></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">The forum which had 100 participants primarily targeted cancer survivors. The forum was conducted by a multidisciplinary faculty from the hospital including; palliative physician, palliative care nurses, psychologists, nutritionists and a chaplain.

</span></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">According to Dr John Weru, Palliative Medicine Physician at Aga Khan University Hospital, cancer survivors are  often the only source of cancer information at the community level thus  they are always  called upon to share their experience and encourage cancer patients.

</span></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">The hospital has planned two more cancer courses that will be part of World Cancer Day in February 2017 focusing on cancer control advocates.

</span></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">David Makumi, Manager, Oncology Programme at Aga Khan University Hospital explains “There is a growing number of cancer patients in need of palliative services at community level; hence the urgency to ensure communities have the right information and skills to take care of patients at home.

</span></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Aga Khan University Hospital is also working with religious organisations to form cancer support groups which will help improve access to psychosocial support at the community level.

</span></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">The hospital has two cancer support groups; a general cancer support group for all cancer patients and a colon cancer support group for colon cancer patients and survivors. Plans are also underway to introduce a cancer support group for parents of children suffering from cancer.</span></div><div><br style="font-family: helvetica;"/></div>
 

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Aga Khan University Hospital, 3rd Parklands Avenue, Limuru Road, Nairobi, Kenya.

+254 (0) 20 366 2000

akuh.nairobi@aku.edu