Global palliative care experts support African ‘Pain and Policy Fellows’

Categories: Education.

The workshop is part of the on-going African Pain Policy Fellowship scheme which aims to offer specialist support and training to 5 ‘Pain Policy Fellows’ from across Africa.

The 5 fellows are:

  • Dr Lewis Banda from Cancer Diseases Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia.
  • Dr Nahla Gafer from the Radiation and Isotope Centre in Khartoum, Sudan.
  • Dr Mawuli Kotope Gyakobo from the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital in Ghana.
  • Dr Abraham Endeshaw Mengistu from the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia.
  • Dr Christian Ntizimira from the Kibagabaga Hospital in Rwanda.

Each of the fellows has a chance to meet their mentor who will, for one year, offer them training, guidance and perhaps most importantly, support, as they look to push for palliative care in their respective countries.

The 5 International experts who will be acting as mentors in the scheme are:

  • Dr Zippy Ali, the Executive Director of the Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA).
  • Dr Eric Krakauer, Assistant Professor of Medicine and of Global Health and Social Medicine and the Harvard Medical School.
  • Dr Fred Sebisubi, a former fellow and APCA staff member from Kampala, Uganda.
  • Dr Virginia LeBaron, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Cancer Centre.
  • Professor Olaitan Soyannwo, Professor of Anaesthesia and Director of the Centre for Palliative Care in Nigeria.

The three day workshop held in Entebbe is focused on sharing best practice and learning from each country’s different but overlapping experiences.

Jim Cleary, the DIrector of the UW Carbone Cancer Center’s Pain and Policy Studies Group commented on the importance of the fellowship scheme saying:

“We are delighted that the NCI has recognized the value of the International Pain Policy Fellowship and funded this project with Africa. PPSG is honoured to be partnering with APCA to bring about improvements in opioid accessibility in the 5 fellowship countries. We envisage an ongoing collaboration that will not only impact the countries of the fellows but also pain relief and palliative care throughout Africa!”

Fatia Kiyange, the Programmes Director of APCA added:

“It is great that we can team up with Pain and Policy Studies Group to offer such targeted and effective support to these strategically placed medical professionals. By supporting these individuals I am confident that they will become beacons for not just palliative care but specifically for furthering access to pain management in their respective countries. We at APCA are looking forward to working with them over the coming years to ensure that we move closer to our ultimate vision – everyone in Africa receiving the care and support that they need.”

More information:

The Pain & Policy Studies Group (PPSG) is a global research program at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center within the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.  The PPSG mission is to improve global pain relief by achieving balanced access to opioids in an effort to enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer and other painful diseases.  The PPSG’s work, guided by a public health approach, aims to address governmental and regulatory environments governing professional healthcare practice relating to pain management, including barriers to legitimate access of prescription opioid analgesics that are essential for severe pain relief and palliative care. Such efforts are achieved through effective public policy, communications, and outreach efforts. The PPSG is nationally and internationally recognized for its work and leadership to improve availability of opioid pain medicines, having been at the forefront of such efforts since its creation in 1996, since which time it has been the home of a  World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center.

The African Palliative Care Association (APCA) works collaboratively with existing and potential providers of palliative care services across Africa to help expand service provision. APCA also works with governments and policymakers to ensure the optimum policy and regulatory framework exists for the development of palliative care across Africa. 

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