International Programmes carries forward the founding mission of Hospice Africa “palliative care for all in need in Africa”
Our experiences both in Uganda and other countries tells us that the starting point for commencing palliative care in a country, is to set up quality services driven by the ethos, see here, and centred on the patients and their families. With this experience and learning, the needs of what is required by the people of that country, a national policy can be drawn up to support the cultural and economic needs of all. The national palliative care providers will be able to advocate to public authorities and other major stakeholders and donors while making the special philosophy of palliative care understandable to all.
HAU-IP runs two five-week Palliative Care Initiators’ Courses every year in Hospice Africa Uganda (HAU), the adaptable model for African palliative care. One is in English and the other in French. There is a large clinical component to this course including 2 weeks on “mobile rounds” in the homes. To date International Programmes has trained 126 health workers from Anglophone countries and 59 from Francophone countries. Graduates go back to their countries with an action plan so that HAU-IP follows-up their achievements and supports them through internet and in their own country.
On invitation from those we have trained and their country Governments, HAU-IP advocates to National Ministries of Health and medical training institutions, holding training programmes and sometimes in conjunction with the African Palliative Care Association (APCA). This effort has been bolstered by WHO Resolution 67.19 passed on the 24th of May 2014, see here, calling for governments to include palliative care in their national health care schemes. This includes having appropriate palliative care policies at the local and national levels, providing budgetary support, ensuring appropriate access to needed medications and clinical services as well as supporting training and including palliative care education in undergraduate and post graduate education.
Our main advocacy comes through witnessing the clinical palliative care provided presently to 2,000 patients in Uganda. This witness stresses seeing our ethos in action bringing peace to each patient and family through impeccable pain and symptom control and holistic care.
HAU-IP works closely with the Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care in Africa, the educational arm of the Hospice Africa Complex, which provides a one-year Diploma in Clinical Palliative Care and a three-year Bachelor in Palliative Care in English open to experienced health professionals from African countries.
We moreover work alongside APCA, based in Kampala in Uganda, with advocacy and international networking. While HAU-IP initiates and support the development of palliative care in African countries, the IHPCA strengthens the existing services through education; and APCA finally supervises and strengthens further palliative care stakeholders in Africa.
The department is currently being funded by two Hospice Africa Foundation Trustees: Hospice Africa UK and Hospice Africa France but HAU is looking for additional funds from other sources to support the increase in the level of activities.