Kasese district hit by acute shortage of palliative care specialists

By Ronald Kule

KASESE: Kasese district is facing acute shortage of health specialists experienced in palliative care system to attend to patients in critical health situation.

The district with a population of about 900.000 people has only eight palliative care specialists deployed at only three major facilities in Kasese that is Kagando hospital, Kilembe hospital and Bwera hospital leaving the rest of the patients in the large district of Kasese at no service.

Palliative care is looking after someone who in pain and about to die through counseling and applying surgical operation especially to patients with cancer and other chronic problems.

According to Dr. Tarsi Jafesi a palliative care specialist at Kagando hospital,  palliative care in Kasese is still a big challenge due to lack of personnel and morphine drugs such as aspirin to administer to such patients for pain healing.

He revealed to UJK at Kasese multipurpose hall on the sidelines of a palliative care update meeting that for the last five years, Kagando alone has received about nine hundred patients who need palliative care and 90 percent of them ended up dying.

The Kasese District Assistant Chief Administrative Officer In-charge of administration Johnson Muthungwanda noted that the district health system was lacking consorted efforts to address the issue of palliative care in most of the health facilities in Kasese.

Mutungwanda reveals that the absence of palliative care specialists in Kasese has led to most of the patients who are even in critical health conditions to resort to traditional healers and quack pastors with hope of being healed by their services.

He however gave hope to the people of Kasese that he would influence the need by the district heath department to train health workers in the established health units in Kasese in palliative health care system in order to rescue locals from traditional healers and fake pastors. END


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