Nov 12, 2018

Enhancing Education for Palliative Care

As 2018 winds down it gives us time to look back. For the AMPATH Palliative Care Program it has been a year of progress. The number of patients served continues to increase due to the hard work of the Kenyan Palliative Care team in Eldoret. To lend a hand, we have had an unprecedented number of new North American physicians spending time with the team. Education has been a major focus of our recent visits, both jointly managing hospitalized patients with the palliative care team and conducting training for hospital nurses and physicians. Our most exciting work was on the development of a one-year curriculum for the first palliative care training program in Eldoret. Currently, most trainees travel to Uganda since there is no comprehensive clinical training program in Kenya. The one we have proposed will combine didactic lectures and clinical rotations in hospital palliative care with outpatient and inpatient hospice. The proposal is now going through the review process by the Kenyan educational authorities with the goal of the first class enrolling in 2019.

 

Your contributions are greatly appreciated and they have the potential to provide an even greater impact. Our students will need assistance in books and other educational materials. Please consider donating to our program as 2018 comes to an end and the promise of the New Year approaches.

Oct 16, 2018

Future Leaders and Clinical Growth

Dear Friends,

I had an opportunity to visit the Rafiki clinic in July and August and it was such a pleasure! During the school August holiday, the clinic was bustling with often 30-50 clients per day.

I was particularly impressed by all of the youth: They are amazing leaders. The peer mentors engage clients with one on one counseling and linking them to support groups. There are about 6 support groups which are led by the psychosocial counsellors and the peers. The clients are there for each other, through thick and thin. 

Not only do the peer mentors help link the clients into support groups, but they also help plan the adolescent fun days. Fun days are held during the school holidays and away from the clinic. It’s a time for all the clients to support each other away from the usual clinic setting and just have fun with food, music, and usually a lot of dancing! About 100 teens attend! 

The clinic is growing. We serve more than 900 adolescents! Currently, the support groups and salsa dancing are held within the clinic. With your support, we aim to build an outdoor veranda on the clinic grounds for the support groups. This will allow us to use the current social space for clinical needs, including upcoming antenatal services. We will be getting quotes, plans, and timelines soon.

Look forward for more updates about our growth and thank you for your continued support!

Sep 14, 2018

The difference your gift made for Grace

It is anything but “rare” when I experience the absolute joy of sharing your gift when it can make all of the difference in the world. Often it is the difference between hope and despair or in the story that follows – between life and death.

Grace (name changed) is the 42-year-old mother of four children. I met Grace for the first time last week in Mukhobola –near Lake Victoria and the Uganda border. Mukhobola is about as close to the end of the Earth as I get as I make my weekly trips to the ten HIV clinics I cover as the consultant. These journeys are a counterpoint to rounding on the congested wards at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.

I was sitting in on the multidisciplinary team (MDT) charged with reviewing the cases of those whose HIV was no longer under control in spite of having access to modern antiretroviral drugs. Grace used to have her virus fully suppressed, but for some reason, she was totally out of control. The group poured questions at her –probing for a reason for her sudden loss of control. Grace responded with an all- too familiar story.

Grace used to cook and sell her food as a small roadside business. The hours were regular, and she could watch her children, earn money, and take her HIV medications right on time. Then her husband left her. She lost his income and had to face her disease and her children’s needs all alone. The only job she could find was working in the nearby rice fields. The pay was Ksh 100 per day ($1), and she had to be in the field before daybreak and return home well after dark. Even worse, the pay was often delayed –and always inadequate.

She gave it everything she had, but she couldn’t feed her children, stay on her medication schedule, or see any reason to even go on with life. The MDT team pondered her challenges and simply had no answer. But you were there.

With funds from the Humanitarian Fund, Grace is able to rent a small roadside room for $7 per month. We provided her the necessary materials like charcoal, sugar, beans, and flour. Now Grace can return to her business selling beans and chapatti meals to those who pass her new shop. Her hours will be regular, her medications on time, and her children back in school. The total capital to send Grace on her way to recovery was $185.

Often the amount of money needed is less than what Grace required and occasionally it is more, but having your support fills me with a warmth that affirms what life is really all about.

Your gifts give life to neighbors like Grace and also to this old doctor.

Thanks,

Joe

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.