Published on: August 21, 2011

Dr Zipporah Ali from Kenya writes to share with us Kenya’s National Cancer Control Strategy (NCCS), which has a clear plan for palliative care.

Kenya is the 11th country to agree an NCCS with inclusion of palliative care and pain treatment. The palliative care section of Kenya’s NCCS document (pdf, pg19) reads:

2.6.4 Palliative care and pain relief

Kenya's NCCS (pdf)

Palliative care should be provided from the time of diagnosis of the life limiting illness. Effective palliative care services should be integrated into the existing healthcare system at all levels of care including home based care.

These should be adapted to the specific cultural, social and economic setting. Palliative care should be strategically linked to cancer prevention, early detection and treatment services.


  • Enhancing palliative care including pain relief


  • To improve quality of life of cancer patients and their families.


  • Integrate palliative care services into the national health services.
  • Advocate for legislation and policies that support palliative care.
  • Develop and implement national palliative care guidelines.
  • Develop curricula and training materials for palliative care.
  • Develop an essential palliative care drug list and integrate it into the national essential drug list.
  • Build capacity for the health care providers and care givers on palliative care.
  • Conduct awareness campaigns on palliative care targeting policy makers, public, media, health care personnel and regulators.
  • Strengthen community and home-based palliative care services including establishment of nutritional support services for cancer patients.
  • Establish social support services for cancer patients and provide palliative care services for groups with special needs, children and elderly.
  • Develop networks, partnerships and collaboration with local and international partners.

Congratulations Zippy and all involved! This holds promise not only for the suffering in Kenya, but encouraging for all in developing countries.

Kenya's National Cancer Control Strategy Launch Event, 12 August 2011 - click for more pictures.

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