As part of the extended outreach activities, Karatina University in partnership with the Aga Khan University and Teaching Hospital engaged on a one-day training workshop for community caregivers at the Main Campus on Friday, 6th April 2018. This initiative was part of the wider agenda of collaboration with the Aga Khan Hospital on provision of accessible health care to the underprivileged members of the society and especially those battling terminal illnesses in the community. The "Carry Your Candle Initiative" established by Karatina University has been pivotal in reaching out to ailing members of the society especially in hospices across the region.
Noting that the community has caregivers who provide volunteer care and that majority of them have rudimental knowledge in patient care and management, Karatina University and Aga Khan Hospital identified 110 caregivers within Nyeri County. They were mapped from all the eight sub-counties of Nyeri in consultation with the Director of Medical Services in the County Government of Nyeri.
The team of 11 medical staff from Aga Khan Hospital was led by Dr. John Weru, a Palliative Care Specialist and Consultant at the hospital. The following topics were discussed at the workshop: Experiences and Challenges in Care-Giving; Overview of Palliative Care; Symptoms Management; Nutrition in Palliative Care; Lived Experiences; Basic Concepts of Communication and Counselling; Spirituality in Relation to Health and Illness and End of Life Issues
The training was very interactive with the participants sharing moving experiences. They particularly thanked Karatina University for providing such a rare opportunity to have them trained in this field, and attested that they had been equipped with essential skills that would enable them provide better care for their patients. At the end of the training, all trainees were awarded with certificates of participation. The team committed to escalate the training initiative to all the counties within the Mt. Kenya region and even beyond.