A total of 11 nurses and social workers from several African countries were recently awarded scholarships to further their education in Palliative Care in various academic institutions across the continent.
The scholarships cater for tuition fees and were awarded from over 30 competitive applications received. The recipients’ levels of study range from Certificate, Diploma, Postgraduate Diploma, Bachelor of Science, and Masters of Science in Palliative Care.
The Palliative Care Education Scholarship Fund for Nurses and Social Workers provides the much-needed opportunity for nurses and social workers in Africa to undergo specialist training in palliative care to enable them to lead the development and provision of palliative and chronic care services in their settings.
East, Southern and West Africa Regions
Applicants came from all regions of Africa including countries like The Gambia in West Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and South Africa in Southern Africa and Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania in East Africa. The 11 successful applicants comprised 10 nurses and 1 social worker.
Since 2011, this fund has seen many nurses and social workers enhance skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, methods, and sensitivities that are needed to work effectively in palliative care with patients, families, health care providers, and their communities. The programme’s inception was necessitated by the number of nurses and social workers who were playing key frontline roles in providing palliative care services, despite the inadequate incorporation of palliative care into the pre-service (undergraduate) training curricula in their disciplines.
Institutions Offering Palliative Care Qualifications
Scholarship recipients have already commenced their palliative care studies at different institutions that include, University of Malawi, University of Cape Town, University of Zimbabwe, Hospice Nairobi in collaboration with Oxford Brookes University, Makerere University’s IHPCA, Kenya Medical Training College, and ELCT Centers in Tanzania for qualifications such as Palliative Care Nursing for Health Professionals, Higher Education in Palliative Care, Palliative Care for Health and Social Welfare Professionals, and Palliative Care in Nursing. Certificate courses take a maximum of one month while diploma courses take one year. The Bachelor of Science programme takes 3 years, while the Master of Science in Palliative Care takes 2 years to complete.
APCA is grateful to Global Partners In Care for the partnership now spanning 10 years where 37 Nurses and 7 Social workers have earned palliative care qualifications across Africa. APCA is further grateful to the National Associations of Malawi, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and other countries which have always advocated for the integration of PC into mainstream health systems and advocating for the need to train more medical frontline workers in palliative care.
For more information on palliative care in Africa, visit www.africanpalliativecare.org