DESK REVIEWS | Hospice centres

DESK REVIEW | Hospice centres

Yes, but in a small number.

Yes, hospice care is available, but is not covered under any medical insurance, and it is mostly for cancer patients. There are about 138 organisations across the country providing hospice and palliative care services, and these are concentrated in large cities (Khosla et al., 2012). The state of Kerala is an exception, as it has 60 hospice units for a population of more than 12 million (Kumar,  2007).


Khosla, D., Patel, F. D., & Sharma, S. C. (2012). Palliative care in India: current progress and future needs. Indian Journal of Palliative Care, 18(3), 149–154.

Kumar S. K. (2007). Kerala, India: a regional community-based palliative care model. Journal of pain and symptom management, 33(5), 623–627.

In 2016, there were two National referral Hospitals in Kenya with integrated palliative care services. In addition, the Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) had integrated palliative care services (Palliative Care Units) in 11 provincial hospitals across the country and was working towards expanding these services to 30 other county hospitals. The process of integrating the hospital-based palliative services involved the following (Ali, 2016):

  1. Advocacy both at the national and at the hospital level;
  2. Capacity building through training and mentorship;
  3. Establishment of palliative care units through the renovation of an identified building/room and equipping them;
  4. Ensuring supply of morphine and other essential palliative care medicines and;
  5. Providing palliative care services to patients and their families

In 2019, there were 31 government hospitals with palliative care (Hospice Care Kenya, 2018), 15 free standing hospices, 11 hospices and palliative care services in the Mission hospitals, 8 in the rural community (FBO), 6  in private institutions and two in teaching and referral hospitals (i.e., Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital – Palliative Care Unit, housed in the Oncology Department – AMPATH) (Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA), 2019).


Ali, Z. (2016). Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association: Integrating Palliative Case in Public Hospitals in Kenya. Ecancermedicalscience. 10:655.

Hospice Care Kenya. (2018). Paving the way for universal access to palliative care in Kenya.

Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA). (2019). Hospices.