Objectives of APCA
Dr. Luyirika spoke about the four main objectives that the APCA are working hard towards and these are firstly the creation of awareness of palliative care on the continent; awareness in families & patients, in policy makers, in the general public and more importantly to create awareness in health workers.
The second objective is to ensure that we strengthen the health systems on the continent by integrating palliative care into those systems.This involves issues around strengthening policies & governance; ensuring that we have the human resources for palliative care; that we have service delivery developed; that we have access to palliative care medications & that we create a system where we can develop strategic information & data collection as well as strengthening financing for palliative care.
The third objective is to make sure we develop a research base for palliative care on the continent, and lastly the fourth objective for the APCA is to create sustainability.
Aspects we can learn from HPCA
Besides the conference, Dr. Luyirika mentioned the fact that there are key things that South Africa can teach the rest of Africa in terms of palliative care. South Africa as a whole has extremely good practices in terms of running viable hospices and in terms of managing to partner up with the Government in the re-engineering of primary healthcare as well. These are some of the things the rest of Africa can learn from South Africa.
South Africa has very good medicine availability systems so that people who have palliative care needs can access medications, including morphine & other pain management medicines. Another best practice in South Africa is the prisons program of palliative care in correctional services and that is something that stands out on the African continent. Next year in August is the Africa palliative Care Conference and Dr. Luyirika said he will make sure that someone from South Africa is there teaching this brilliant practice.
Views around the HPCA Conference 2015
This was Dr. Luyirika’s fourth conference that he has attended and he mentioned how he is fascinated by the fact that at every conference he walks away with some new learning, and something unique.
This year, for him, it has been the issue of disability. It has been a real eye opener for him personally. The other aspect of the conference that he was very impressed with was the good partnership between HPCA and the Government which has been shown to be very strong.
Dr. Luyirika ended off by saying that every conference he attends he has learnt so much and he can’t wait to spread what he has learnt at this year’s one, and put some of it into practise with his own organisation.
If you would like to find out more about APCA – visit their website: www.africanpalliativecare.org/