Palliative Care and Public Health, A Perspective from the African Palliative Care Association
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On the African continent, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya were among the earliest to develop palliative care. Almost two decades later, only Uganda treats palliative care as a public health matter; but even in Uganda challenges remain. Across Africa governments inhibit scale up through insufficient support. Limited numbers of adequately skilled health and social care professionals, inadequate funding, recurrent drug shortages, and endemic concerns regarding drug use constrain progress, and encumber the mainstreaming of palliative care into African governments’ national health policy agendas. Although scattered islands of excellence exist, unmet need remains on a scale that is well captured in the prevalence data presented by Webster et al.
These observations gave birth to the African Palliative Care Association (APCA) at a November 2002 meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. Registered in 2003, APCA opened its headquarters in Uganda in 2005 as a non-governmental organisation with...
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