Nairobi Hospice is a home that cares for and supports patients suffering from terminal illnesses, more so cancer and HIV/AIDS, and their families.
Visit to Nairobi Hospice
Nairobi Hospice is a home that cares for and supports patients suffering from terminal illnesses, more so cancer and HIV/AIDS, and their families. The home provides a Support Group Forum which takes place on Thursdays and consists of counsellors , ‘care-givers’ volunteers who come and take care of the patients by preparing meals, and 30 patients who meet to support each other by sharing their own experiences. The hospice provides the patients with the necessary drugs at a subsidised rate hence making them much more affordable. Interactive Communications paid a visit to the home, spent time and mingled with the patients, who come from different backgrounds, and got to hear them sharing their experiences.
Linnet Kitui, a social worker at the hospice and who also doubles as the leader of the support group forum, received us warmly. Simba, the chairman of the patients’ group, proceeded to say a word of prayer. Afterwards, he called on all members to introduce themselves. In succession, the patients shared their own experiences, motivated each other by cracking jokes and exchanged tips on how to live positively as a people living with cancer.
From the experience sharing, we were able to identify that most of the patients were suffering from breast, liver, kidney or cervical cancer. Further, most of the patients were women. We also learnt that cancer develops in different stages. Therefore, it is advisable for one to get examined after every six months because early diagnosis increases one’s chances of fighting the illness successfully before it spreads. We also noted that the patients’ key strengths in life was the emotional acceptance that they were sick, and healthy eating, thus adding more value and more days into their lives. As a precondition to being care-givers to cancer patients, we were advised to support them fully, shower them with love, and by so doing give them motivation; hence providing for them a bright future and the hope and desire to continue living.
A major challenge in relation to cancer patients is the fact that there are only two cancer diagnosing machines in Kenyatta National Hospital, the largest referral hospital in Kenya. Consequently, this makes it difficult for them to get adequate attention and remedy in good time because of the long queues. Further, tax increases makes the drugs expensive to buy since majority of the patients come from less fortunate backgrounds. As part of our CSR, Interactive Communications donated foodstuff and a microwave, which were the hospice’s immediate needs identified in consultation with the hospice management.