African Palliative Care Association (APCA) and Global Partners in Care (GPIC) share a mission to enhance access to palliative care services across the African continent. A crucial component of this is ensuring that appropriately trained providers are available and accessible to those in need. This is why we collaboratively established the African Palliative Care Education Scholarship Fund in 2011. Our primary objective is for health care workers to gain knowledge and skills to provide compassionate care to patients and families. Our secondary objective is to increase the awareness, clinical and research skills and knowledge of palliative care for recipients so they can become advocates and palliative care educators to diverse in-country stakeholders (e.g., policy makers, health care workers and the public). Since the program’s start, more than 70 nurses and social workers from 13 African countries have received funding to complete palliative care courses that range from certificate courses to diplomas as well as BSc degrees and MA/MS degrees. We are continuously working to grow the scholarship program – both in the number of scholarships offered, the diversity of cadres funded and by expanding our geographical reach across the continent.
Toward this goal, APCA hosted an exciting virtual education fair showcasing many of the palliative care education courses offered by various universities and colleges across the continent. The education fair was cohosted by GPIC and offered prospective students an opportunity to learn about and engage with various institutions offering palliative care training in numerous countries in Africa.
The education fair webinar had an outstanding turnout of over 70 participants. Some of the educational institutions presenting included: University of Cape Town (South Africa), Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care in Africa (Uganda), Mildmay Institute of Health Sciences (Uganda), Kamuzu University of Health Services (Malawi), Moi University (Kenya), Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (Tanzania). These institutions shared information on various course offerings, costs, application requirements and more. Prospective students were able to ask questions and had the opportunity to discuss the challenges of entering a palliative care training program – including cost which is a major barrier. Dr. Buyinza, the Academic Registrar at the Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care in Africa noted that “About 50% of nurses and social workers who apply and get admitted for further training do not enroll due to unaffordability.”
Emerging PC providers
The education fair brought together many leaders in palliative care education and was an exciting way to engage with the next generation of palliative care providers. Visit our website for more details about institutions and courses offered in palliative care in Africa. If you are a training institution and your palliative care courses are not on this list, please contact us to add them! firstname.lastname@example.org
To help support palliative care education in Africa, please consider donating to African Palliative Care Education Scholarship Fund