Given the fact that palliative care is rapidly expanding to countries across Africa, there is need to create the appropriate evidence base from an African setting. HAU/IHPCA has always understood the need for evidence based practices; the first research project at HAU, assessing the appropriate pain and symptom control for HIV/AIDS patients, was conducted in 1994. In the last three years, great strides have been taken to invest in training and capacity building in order to conduct high quality research. Starting in 2011 HAU/IHPCA embarked on a rigorous plan to revamp its research capacity in order to support research related activities at HAU/IHPCA and to generate high quality research. We have since been involved in a number of studies, both local and international leading to publication. A research day, which brought in palliative care experts to discuss the research needs for palliative care in an African setting, was conducted in 2013. This event helped to shape the HAU/IHPCA research agenda, now in place. This agenda is intended to guide the mobilization, allocation and utilization of scarce resources for high impact research particularly addressing patient and staff needs and perspectives, frameworks and models of care and the impact of education in palliative care. Some key study priorities the IHPCA/HAU research team is currently focusing on include:

•    Liquid oral morphine – attitude of health care providers, impact of nurse prescribers, fears of patients and carers, impact of task shifting on morphine prescription.
•    Cost/benefit analysis of palliative care programs and models in the African context.
•    Description of changing palliative care trajectory of HIV/AIDS patients in the ARV era.
•    Best methods for increasing access to palliative care.
•    Quantifying quality of hospice and palliative care.
•    Studying pain assessment in non verbal patients, approaches and tools.
•    Evaluating the use of herbal remedies in palliative care.
•    Studying ways to improve access and effectiveness of palliative care education in resource limited settings.

The Hospice Africa Research and Ethics committee (HAUREC) which is in advanced stages of accreditation by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology has been established to enhance ethical approvals, monitoring and evaluation of palliative care research in Uganda and Africa at large. Plans are also in advanced stages to develop a Research Policy at HAU/IHPCA.
a.    Conducting research at HAU/IHPCA
For those interested in conducting research in collaboration with HAU/IHPCA please contact the research administrator for more information at research@hospiceafrica.or.ug .
For non-Ugandans interested in conducting research in Uganda please reference the Ugandan regulations for this, found here. www.uncst.go.ug