by Sr. Prisca Ovat, MMM Kenya 20.04.2022
Twelve masseuses and masseurs recently graduated from the East African Institute for certified studies. Sr. Prisca and 11 other palliative caregivers were generously funded by Misean Cara to avail this course. Unique about this group was their varying academic qualifications. From primary school dropouts to medical officers and degree holders, we all learnt at the same pace when it came to massage. None was more qualified than the other. Respect was crucial to us, undetermined by educational level. The main focus was learning to the best of our capabilities to optimise our patients’ care.
Every weekend, a new type of massage was learnt (Swedish, deep tissue, aromatherapy, hot stone, Indian head/shoulder/back, prenatal and scrubs). During the week, there was a constant transfer of knowledge from class to field. Now, the course has come to an end. It is time to give back fully to palliative patients and the wider community. Each caregiver is assigned a patient with massage needs. Each is also provided with all the PPE and materials needed. Our responsibility is to journey with the patients towards recovery or peaceful death. Sr. Prisca walks or cycles around the villages supervising each caregiver and offering massaging and learning support where necessary.
Beyond their services to palliative patients, the caregivers earn a living through massage. They express with joy how much they can save through massage services offered within their communities. Another milestone is the opening of a massage clinic within the MMM facility. Mindful that the facility struggles to generate income to cater fully for every department, the massage clinic helps generate income to support palliative care needs. With the extra help from Misean Cara, the massage clinic was set up, although we still seek funding for the procurement of professional equipment. We express our gratitude to our donors and those who made this a reality.