Essential Pain Management Program in Kenya (EPM – Kenya)


Pain, to this day, is still underrecognized and undertreated the world over. In Kenya, few health care providers training curricula incorporate principles and practice of pain management. Painful conditions have adverse personal and societal costs. There are benefits – to the individual, to health facilities and to the larger society- of proper and adequate pain treatment.

Essential Pain Management program (EPM) is a short pain management education program aimed at addressing the problem of pain education and treatment among diverse health care providers. It is a global project. EPM generally uses a ‘snowball’ approach to develop local capacity: Local trainers are trained to continue teaching EPM at their facilities.  In EPM-Kenya is our outreach program by the Kenya Society of Anaesthesiologists. We run this program in various sites countrywide as a 3-day workshop. On day one, we run a one-day interactive EPM workshop. On day two, participants from the first day attend a half-day instructor workshop. On day three, the newly trained instructors run the course with the help of the Kenya Society of Anaesthesiologists trainers.

Objectives of EPM-Kenya (aligned to EPM objectives)

  • To improve pain knowledge in Kenyan healthcare providers.
  • To teach Kenyan health providers to “recognise, assess and treat pain” (RAT).
  • To address pain management barriers in Kenya.
  • To train health providers at facility level to teach EPM.


Dr. Timothy Murithi Mwiti, Department of anaesthesia, University of Nairobi
Dr. Timothy Murithi Mwiti, Department of anaesthesia, University of Nairobi

EPM-Kenya committee: Dr. Timothy Murithi Mwiti, Dr. Anthony Kamau, Dr. Winfred Mwangi, and Ms. Shelmith Macharia

Partners: Pfizer Medical; Royal College of Anaesthetists, UK; (via Dr. Karen Gilmore) and The Nairobi Hospital


  1. Timothy M. Mwiti, Department of Anaesthesia, University of Nairobi
  1. Anthony Kamau, Department of Anaesthesia, The Nairobi Hospital.
  1. Winfred Mwangi, Department of Anaesthesia, The Nakuru County Referral Hospital
  1. Jane Gwaro, Department of Anaesthesia, Kenyatta National Hospital
  1. Kevin Arunga, Department of Anaesthesia, Kenyatta National Hospital
  1. Priyanka Suresh, Department of Anaesthesia, University of Nairobi
  1. Sheila Gitau,, Aga khan University Hospital.

Other Kenya Society of Anaesthesiologists trainers: Dr. Christine Gathiri, Dr. Caroline Njoki, Dr. Antony Mulu, Dr. Edwin Waweru, Dr. Eunice Ngatia, Dr. Consolata Kinuthia, Dr. Ifrah Hersi, Dr. Susan Mutahi, Dr. Dorcas Bundi, Dr. Paul Wambugu, Dr. Obadiah Samoei, Dr. Joe Mugambi, and Dr. Kipchobit Biwott.

Training sites as of February 2020: The Nairobi Hospital, Coast General Hospital, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and referral, Nakuru county and referral hospital, Mater Hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital/University of Nairobi.

Next training site: Nyeri County Hospital

Number of Health care providers trained as of February 2020: 324: doctors, nurses, clinical officers, physiotherapists

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