With a few months remaining to the commemoration of the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, the Palliative Care Association of Uganda has geared up preparations for this year’s event with ongoing physical and virtual meetings with different stakeholders.
The world Hospice and Palliative Care Day will be commemorated on Saturday 8th October 2022, and in Uganda, it will be a week-long commemoration. With Uganda’s parliament set to be part of this year’s celebrations, PCAU is planning to hold activities from 1st to 8th October to mark this important day.
On day one, 1st Oct, there will be corporate football matches between palliative care workers and Members of Parliament and a press conference, a Facebook Live Session with Palliative care specialists on Monday 3rd, Twitter Space on 4th, a public lecture on Wednesday 5th, Palliative Care roundtable with Members of Parliament on Thursday 6th, media engagement (audio-visual) on Friday 7th, and finally a national Palliative Care walk from Ministry of Health to Makerere University and public event with invited Guests.
This year’s commemoration will be under the theme “Touching lives, Healing Communities, Society Transformation” which is in line with the international theme “Healing Hearts and Communities” both carefully chosen to fit this time when communities are recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a virtual meeting organized by PCAU and the Ministry of Health on Thursday 14th July, Mark Donald Mwesiga, the Country Director of the Palliative Care Association of Uganda, reiterated that the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is a global day of action to honor and promote hospice and palliative care.
“With this year’s World Hospice and Palliative Care commemoration week, we will celebrate palliative care, demonstrating its importance and ensuring that everyone has access to it, regardless of where they reside, their age, or their background. It’s a day where people who have been impacted by a life-limiting illness either personally or by supporting a loved one make their voices heard, asking policymakers to pay attention to prioritize palliative care policies and services.” Mwesiga noted.
He added that the people who have been standing in solidarity with people who have been impacted by a life-limiting illness like local leaders, volunteers, advocates, clinicians, and others also volunteer their time to amplify this public message on a given theme of the year.
Different stakeholders from upcountry districts are preparing for the commemoration of this day with different activities already planned and scheduled.
Vicky Opia, the executive director of Peace Hospice Adjumani, focal person for palliative care and health worker in a district Hospital in Adjumani district, noted that in Adjumani, they have a set of activities already planned to commemorate the WHPCD starting on 21st July when they would have a friendly football match between hospice and journalists and later radio talk shows with patients to share their experiences.
The annual celebration of World Hospice and Palliative Care day happens every 2nd Saturday of October. With the ongoing engagements with Parliament, PCAU hopes that the Parliament of Uganda will recognize this day on the national calendar and more awareness of palliative care services will be caused in the future.