The African Palliative Care Association accorded recognition to several individuals and organisations that have contributed immensely to the development and implementation of palliative care in Africa during the recent 6th International African Palliative care Conference in Kigali, Rwanda.
Retiring APCA board members were recognised for their commitment and tireless voluntary services to APCA spanning several years, including their advocacy efforts across the continent and beyond, as well as support to the secretariat in the areas of sustainability and management. The 5 were;
1. Mr Malik Jaffer – South Africa
2. Prof Plo Kouie – Ivory Coast
3. Dr Israel Kolawole – Nigeria
4. Prof Liz Gwyther – South Africa
5. Ms Meredith Lwanga – Uganda
The second category of delegates to be honoured were Ms Rose Kiwanuka, Dr Stephen Watiti, both of whom are health professionals who have also been users of palliative care services.They were recognised for their dedicated leadership in advocacy for the needs of patients and their families, and for giving a greater voice to beneficiary-led advocacy.
Ministries of Health
Following a very successful African Ministers of Health 3rd Session that was a pre-conferenc event, 6 African Ministries of Health were recognised for their commitment, leadership and taking action towards the integration of palliative care in the National Health System in the past few years. The 6 were;
- Ministry of Health and Wellness, Republic of Botswana
- Ministry of Health, Kingdom of eSwatini
- Ministry of Health and Population, Republic of Malawi
- Ministry of Health, Republic of Rwanda
- Ministry of Health, Republic of Uganda
- Ministry of Health and Childcare, Zimbabwe
It was highlighted that the commitment at ministry level was pivotal in the progress made in palliative care development in these nations, and others took up the challenge to do the same.
Some international donor agencies also received certificates of appreciation in recognition of their outstanding support and contribution to improving access to palliative care services in Africa. These were;
- The True Colours Trust, UK
- Open Society Foundations, USA
- Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa
- Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa
Two APCA members, Stella Rithara and Biira Yayeri (Executive Director of Cancer and AIDS Relief Organization (CARO) Uganda), received certificates of appreciation for their contribution towards the expansion of APCA’s Membership and Community for the year 2018/2019, a recognition of their efforts in recruiting new members.
The awards ceremony was marked with much pomp and ceremony, including lively Rwandan traditional dancers who got many delegates to join them on the dance floor. The event served as a motivation for both the award recipients and other aspiring individuals and organisations.