Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Living Room

HIV clinic in Turbo.

The Living Room Hospice Center

When I visited the small clinic last week I met a lady named Juli. She has lived in Kenya for 7 years. She initally came with an NGO and decided to stay on to open a Hospice center for dying patients in rural Kenya. She has been doing Hospice for several years out of a small home that could hold only 10 patients. She was able to raise the funds and opened a new Hospice center two weeks ago. I had the chance to visit the center today and was amazed at what she is doing.

The patients she cares for are the ones that everyone else gives up on. They are the patients with no family, no home, and no place to go. They have a beautiful facility with 14 acres of land. If you want to learn more about what Juli is doing check out her website - livingroominternational.org.

I have a very strong interest in palliative/hospice care and it was encouraging to see that someone is aggressively trying to implement end of life care here in Kenya. It has been one of my biggest frustrations to see dying patients on the wards recieve little to no care. Part of this is due to resources (lack of pain medications) and partly due to lack of education as doctors and nurses do not know how to care for the dying patient.

There was a young girl at Juli's center named Chepchumba who is 8 years old and weighs 13 pounds (there is a picture of Chepchumba on Juli's website). She showed up to Juli's center 8 weeks ago and they were not sure if she would survive if they attempted to feed her. She is currently doing well and has gained two pounds. There was another young girl who arrived yesterday who is 5 years old and weighs 10 lbs. The degree of malnutrition was unbelievable.

p.s. Katherine - Juli is opening up a school to train better quality Kenyan nurses....I see a future trip for you :)


  1. What a cool opportunity for you to see palliative care implemented in the midst of all you see there! I'll be anxious to hear how it's the same/different and what you'll take from what's going on at the Living Room!

  2. That sounds incredible. And quite difficult too. I have to look up her website. Thanks for the info!