OSISA was honoured with an award from the World Palliative Care Association and the African Palliative Care Association recognising its role and continued support for palliative care in the region. The award was presented during the opening reception of the 5th International Palliative Care Conference in Kampala, Uganda hosted by the Hon. Minister of Health, Dr Aceng Jane Ruth.
During the week of the 16 to 19 August 2016, Ministers of Health, health practitioners, palliative care advocates, patients, representatives from human rights organisations, experts, researchers and donors gathered in the Ugandan capital to share best practices and research results with a view to improving access to palliative care and pain relief in Africa and beyond.
The theme for this conference was “Hospice and Palliative Care: Resolution to Action-Differentiated Care for Diverse Communities”. The conference kicked off with a session in which Ministers shared their respective country’s progress in the implementation of the WHA Resolution 67.19. Countries were able to demonstrate their progress in strengthening palliative care and what challenges they have faced. Although some countries have managed to integrate palliative care either through their health care policies or as stand-alone policies, implementation remains a big challenge.
Limited resources, shortage of skills and lack of infrastructure and access to pain medication are some of the critical issues raised by this high-level panel. Throughout the conference, delegates deliberated on issues that patients face in their countries. They stressed the importance of integrating palliative care and pain relief as a human right in the mainstream of health systems in Africa. For the first time, the conference recognised the importance of giving patients a platform to share their experiences of the benefits of palliative care with the convening.
Delegates adopted the Kampala Consensus Statement to implement the WHA Resolution on palliative care in Africa, thus showing their continued support and dedication to improving access to palliative care in their respective countries. Governments cannot however give effect to this resolution if they don’t develop policies that integrate palliative care into health systems or allocate sufficient resources. The issue of declining donor funding sparked a debate on how palliative care providers can develop innovative ways of mobilising funds to sustain palliative care. Delegates were encouraged to continue advocating for governments to invest more resources in palliative care but also to develop resource mobilisation strategies that will ensure they mobilise resources beyond donor funding.ShareThis