Palliative Care Services at JCRC Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital

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Sr. Angela Rweyora, attending to a Patient

PALLIATIVE Care is the active total care of a person whose condition is not responsive to treatment, according to World Health Organisation (WHO). The commonest patients needing palliative care are those with terminal AIDS and Cancer.

Palliative care neither hastens nor postpones death; it provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms integrates psychological and spiritual aspects of care and offers support system to help the family cope during the patients’ illness and bereavement.

It also involves curing sometimes, relieving often and always comforting.

Since each person is someone of value made in the image of God, they should be treated with respect, understanding and acceptance regardless of their ability or inability to respond. That is what care is all about.

It is given by trained health workers, and with us, JCRC sponsored a team from Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital to attend training at Mbarara in July 2009. Since then, there has been a trained team to-date. The hospital endeavours to get oral morphine. They supported us to attend a meeting at HOSPICE Makindye Kampala.

We were trained and on return, we sensitized health workers. Clients have been helped, counselled and they are coping. Drug adherence more especially in HIV is good. By the motto “you matter because you are, you matter until the last minute of your life and we will help you not only to die peacefully but also to live as fully as possible until the moment you die.” since cancer and HIV clients get a lot of pain and psychologically lose hope easily, palliative care comes in handy.

The team in Fort Portal is doing well but could do better. However lack of transport for home care is a great hindrance. The team needs better facilitation so that their services are enjoyed.

The team further appreciates JCRC, HOSPICE and MILD MAY INTERNATIONAL for the training services which enabled them to be enlightened thus better services to their clients and Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital for getting Oral Morphine.