Palliative Care Gets a Boost at Fantsuam Clinic

The Fantsuam Health Centre has been providing basic palliative care within its limits and resources. In our HIV/AIDS program we have a Home-based care component that also serves older citizens who are housebound. The Kafanchan General Hospital is overwhelmed with the daily casualties of road traffic accidents, mostly caused by motor cycle taxis called okada. Some of these people end up with severe disabilities that the hospital is unable to support, and their care devolves on the victims’ families. At the moment, Fantsuam supports patients with severe orthopedic injuries, a quadriplegia and a stoma case.

In November 2012, Fantsuam Foundation applied to the True Colours Trust for a small grant for its palliative care program. The True Colours Trust administers a Small Grants Program through the African Palliative Care Association, http://www.africanpalliativecare.org. Fantsuam Foundation is a member of APCA. The premier palliative care organization in Nigeria is the Palliative Care Centre, of the University College Hospital, Ibadan; they provided a reference for our grant application that was approved in July, 2013.

The APCA grant has been used to purchase a manually-operated hoist for one of the quadriplegics and also a ‘Kindle’ already loaded with reading material as he has no other activity. We have bought stoma bags for another patient.

We are also commissioning training from Nigeria’s foremost rural surgeon, Dr Awojobi. The Awojobi Eruwa Clinic has won international accolades for its promotion of appropriate technology health equipment and practice (http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/88/5/10-040510/en/index.html). The Fantsuam team has requested Dr Awojobi for training on the following appropriate health technology solutions:

  1. Pressure Ulcer relieving bed
  2. Conversion of tricycles to Village Ambulance
  3. Safe disposal of clinical wastes
  4. Local fabrication of manual haematocrit centrifuge, autoclave and water distiller 
  5.  Production and disposal of stoma bags
  6. Basic maintenance of patients' hoist
  7. Design of rain harvesting unit
  8. Design and Use of charcoal furnace for boiling water and to power water distiller and autoclave
  9. Production of intravenous normal saline, 25% dextrose 

A major component of the APCA grant is training. When the Fantsuam staff return from Eruwa, they will organize step-down training for other healthcare staff in our communities and pass on their newly acquired knowledge. With the support of APCA and the Awojobi Eruwa Clinic, the palliative care service at Fantsuam has been given a life-line.

Posted by John Dada

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