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By Miriam Donohoe

 Jovia was lying on a mattress on the ground of her one room house in a slum area of Kampala. Weak and emaciated she was clearly in her last weeks of life. She had cervical cancer and full blown HIV/AIDS, but despite her illness she smiled as she held my hand. I found it hard to hold back the tears.

It was early January and I was on one of my first home care visits with Hospice Africa Uganda, a charity whose mission is to bring peace and comfort to people dying from cancer, HIV AIDS and other serious illness. An Irish journalist and media consultant I had no medical experience whatsoever. So I found the visit really tough.

 I had come to Uganda to volunteer with HAU after learning about this inspiring organization through my work with the Irish Hospice Foundation in Dublin. And the hand of hospice touched me through Jovia, aged 29, a single mother of a 14-year-old daughter, Sharon.

Bernadette Basemera By Bernadette Basemera

The drive to advocate and support the integration of palliative care services in Rubya hospital, Muleba district, Kagera region, Tanzania was initiated by the Dutch doctors known as Friends of Rubya hospital. Their aim was to ensure Rubya hospital team is able to provide relief of pain and suffering of patients and their families later cascade such services to the community through a home based care programme.

By Louise RooneyLouise Rooney

My name is Louise; I am a palliative nurse from Ireland. I was given the opportunity to work alongside the team in HAU for a few months. I was uncertain as to what to expect during my time in Kampala but within the first few hours it was obvious I was going to be privileged to learn from a professional and extremely welcoming team.