Key advocacy developments were front and centre in our coverage this year. A snapshot into policy articles included discussions at the Global Colloquium on Palliative Care on how to
implement the World Health Assembly Resolution; coverage calling for hospice and palliative care organisations to ensure that palliative care is not left behind in the new sustainable development agenda; the convening of African Union Ministers of Health to address access to medical opioids; strides by the WHO to develop palliative care in Francophone Member States; a World Religions Charter to endorse children’s palliative care, and efforts to address affordable cancer care, including prostate, breast and cervical cancer in Africa.
For comprehensive coverage on African palliative care policy related developments in 2015, visit the Policy section on the ehospice Africa edition.
Highlighting the patient’s experience, a series of articles from Mozambique’s Casa Ahava included short videos of patients receiving care from a grassroots home-based care service provider. In Uganda, a unique project addressed the palliative care needs of the deaf community. Dr Katherine Pettus, PhD, further connected the experiences of two Ugandan patients, Joseph and Juma, to global opioid supply chain dynamics. In Rwanda, the unique challenge of communicating with patients who have experienced both personal and societal trauma from the Rwandan Genocide was highlighted. While in Mozambique, a model programme for community volunteers and traditional healers prompts patients to seek hospital medical treatment and palliative care services.
For more coverage of the patient impact stories, visit the People and Places section on the ehospice Africa edition.
In research and education, key highlights included the launch of the palliative care research and ethics committee, and exciting new developments around mHealth in sub-Saharan Africa. In Mozambique, a survey of the national opioid supply chain shed light on gaps in pain relief accessibility and availability for patients in need. In Morocco, a collaborative partnership Faculty of Medicine University of Paris-Sud and the Mohammed V University in Rabat has led to the development of the first university degree in paediatric oncology in Morocco. Other highlights included a new study published in the Lancet HIV showing training HIV outpatient nurses improved patient psychosocial, quality of life and psychological morbidity.
Key resources covered included:
- WHO’s publication of palliative care factsheets
- a new report on Palliative Care and the Global Goal for Health
- adaptable factsheets for media houses help ensure Ugandan journalists accurately collect and disseminate news on palliative care as a human rights issue.
- UNAIDS documentation of financing trends among civil society organisations engaged in the AIDS response
- The Open Society Foundation’s ‘Justice Programs for Public Health: A Good Practice Guide’ which included a section on ‘Access to justice in palliative care’.
- Other educational resources included scholarships and coverage of Anglophone, Francophone and paediatric training programmes through the Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care in Africa.
For comprehensive coverage on academic or research related developments this past year, visit the Research, In the media, and education sections on the ehospice Africa edition.
In editorials, a major development for Africa was the emergence of a new network to address palliative care in complex humanitarian emergencies (PALCHE). For background on this initiative, read Joan Marston, ICPCN’s Chief Executive compelling 2014 editorial, asking what the palliative care community should be doing to ease the burden of war refugees with palliative care needs. Also in editorials, Professor Dr Anne Merriman, reflected on the sustainability of palliative care in Africa at a time of funding austerity.
For further editorial coverage, visit the Opinion section on the ehospice Africa edition.
We hope you gleaned much from our coverage in 2015 and are inspired to contribute your voice and experiences to the Africa edition in 2016. To contribute an article or newsworthy resource or event, please contact the editor.
We thank our partners around the world in making a difference in the lives of millions across Africa through the initiatives represented in this year’s coverage and we wish you a fruitful year ahead.