Tea break reading: African palliative care in the news

Categories: In The Media.

31st May – 13th June 2014

News and views:

Editor’s pick:

  • Uganda/Africa: ‘Millions denied end-of-life drugs’ – The BBC ran a series of article about palliative care globally that also focused in on Uganda. You can read the original BBC article, the case stude – Living with cancer: betty’s story, the article on How a Ugandan hospice makes cheap oral morphine, or listen to the BBC World Service report.
  • Global: End of life care: What do religions say? With figures showing that many people around the world die painfully due to scarce access to morphine, the World Health Organization is calling for improvements to end of life care. But even when pain medication is available, the end of someone’s life is often an immensely difficult moment for all concerned. So for those who believe, what guidance can religions offer in a person’s last moments? BBC Religion and Ethics.
  • Senegal: Africa’s Drugs Scandal – Cancer now kills more people in Africa than malaria, HIV/ Aids and tuberculosis combined. Reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy and director Daniel Bogado travel to Senegal to reveal how patients across the continent are being deprived of the single most important drug for relieving the pain of cancer – morphine – despite governments having the funds to purchase supplies. Watch it on Channel 4, read Channel 4’s blog, Borgen Magazine’s review, Guru-Murthy’s blog as well as the extensive previews including, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Radio Times all found on the previous Tea Break Reading.

Elsewhere in the news:

  • Global: World Health Assembly resolution takes significant step towards palliative care for all – Writing for ecancer, Dr Anne Merriman from Hospice Africa Uganda argues why there is hope for palliative care in Africa. Ecancer.
  • Global: A global victory for palliative care – On May 23, the World Health Organization passed its first ever stand-alone palliative care resolution. It calls on all member states to integrate palliative care and pain relief into their national health systems. I spoke with Mary Callaway, director of the Open Society International Palliative Care Initiative, about its significance. OSF.
  • South Africa: Joan Marston speaks to South African TV (SABC) about palliative care –  The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) interviewed ICPCN CEO Joan Marston on the recently passed WHO resolution on palliative care and the work of the ICPCN in assisting with the development of services worldwide. ehospice.
  • Togo: Journée de réflexion sur les soins palliatifs – A croire l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (Oms), 20 millions de personnes ont besoin chaque année, dans le monde, de soins palliatifs de fin de vie, et autant en auraient besoin pour la dernière année de vie. Tingo Tingo News.
  • Togo: Pour renforcer les besoins et les interventions prioritaires en soins palliatifs: Une journee de reflexion ce mardi a Lome. Savoir News.
  • Namibia: Palliative care essential for Namibia – The African Palliative Care Association has expressed concerns about how little Namibians know about palliative care. The Windhoek Observer.
  • Sierra Leone: In pictures: Yoga in Sierra Leone – After the 11 year civil war, the WHO estimates there are 715,000 people with mental disorders. BBC Health.
  • Sierra Leone: Ebola death toll doubles – Sierra Leone health officials have announced the country’s death toll from the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has doubled. Voice of America.
  • Swaziland: 13 US nursing students to help army in palliative care – Thirteen students from the San Marcos School of Nursing in the United States will join Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force together with three faculty members to provide palliative care under poorly equipped conditions. Swazi Observer.
  • Swaziland: Hospice continues to broaden palliative services – A week ago Swaziland Hospice at Home in conjunction with the American Embassy brought together health professionals from different institutions at ESibayeni Lodge for a three day workshop on pain management. Swazi Observer.
  • Rwanda: Letting go of the dying with dignity – In 2009, Dr Christian Ntizimira was doing surgery rounds at Kibagabaga Hospital when he met a 24-year-old man dying of liver cancer. “He had dreams,” Dr Ntizimira said. “He wanted to be an architect.”… Read more in The New Times.


  • Global: Quality Measures for Palliative Care in Patients With Cancer: A Systematic Review – Within a large cohort of quality measures for palliative, care is often a focus on physical manifestations of disease and adverse effects of therapy; relatively little attention is given to the other aspects of suffering commonly observed among patients with advanced cancer, including psychological, social, and spiritual distress. Journal of Oncology Practice.

Jobs, awards and events:

  • Global: 2nd Paediatric Palliative Care Congress in Rome – An announcement has been made that both the Abstract and Early Bird Registration deadlines have been extended for the 2nd Paediatric Palliative Care Congress to take place from 19 – 21 November 2014 in Rome. Both these deadlines have been extended to 15 July 2014. ehospice.
  • Global: #HPMGlobal twitter chat.  Join Jim Cleary on twitter at 3pm (East Africa Time) every Monday to discuss the latest global palliative care issues. Twitter
  • Global: 20th International AIDS Conference – The conference will be held from 20-25 July 2014 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, in Melbourne, Australia and will represent a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the Asia Pacific region’s HIV epidemic and the unique responses to it. International AIDS Society.
  • Global: World Congress of Psycho-Oncology – The congress, which will be based around the theme of ‘Integrating phsycho-oncology into mainstream cancer care; from research into action’, will bring together experts from around the world to discuss new perspectives in clinical care, new data from research, innovative educational programs, advocacy, organisational issues and cancer policies. It is to beheld in Lisbon, Portugal from 20 to 24 of October 2014. International edition of ehospice.
  • Africa: Find all the latest jobs in palliative care and related fields – Visit ehospice’s job site to see the latest jobs in palliative care. African edition of ehospice.
  • South Africa: HPCA 2014 Conference – Who Cares? Improving patient outcomes – The conference will be held between the 15th and 18th September 2014 at the Lagood Beach Hotel in Cape Town. More details on the HPCA Conference Website.
  • Kenya: The 4th Kenya National Palliative Care Conference 2014 – Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) is delighted to announce the 4th National Palliative Care Conference scheduled to take place from 12th to 14th November 2014 at Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi. KEHPCA.
  • Nigeria: 54th Society of Physiotherapy Annual Scientific Conference and General Meeting – the sub-theme for this year’s conference is ‘The Role of Physiotherapy in Palliative Care for Terminally ill Patients’. It will take place in Asaba, Delta State between the 20th and 25th October 2014. NSP.

Finally if you have any news, views, research, jobs or events that you would like included in next week’s round up, contact us.

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