Beyond Uganda’s Borders

Where are International prgrams workingDr. Anne envisioned that HAU’s teaching and training programs could be transferred and adapted to other African countries. As early as 2000, she began advocating palliative care in earnest to other countries. HAU has assessed and then trained personnel in other countries, introducing affordable oral morphine and new training initiatives on the ground. Dr. Anne’s advocacy program has now reached 13 countries: Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Congo Brazzaville, Congo Kinshasa, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal (through Hospice Africa France). Further countries have been reached with the establishment of the African Palliative Care Association in 2005, of which she is a founding member. HAU continues to collaborate with new organizations and sites providing guidance and follow-up service so these new hospice sites can reach a level of sustainability.

Hospice Africa’s international program also conducts a five-week “Initiators Program,” which has taught 84 students from Anglophone countries and 14 from Francophone countries in Africa. Teams from Uganda have visited other countries and mentored them through the beginning stages, working alongside the new teams in setting standards and providing training that meets their cultural and economic needs. Health professionals from other countries also visit Uganda and HAU to see how palliative care can work in an African country. These African countries are now sending palliative care leaders to take the degree program with follow-up training being supplied by HAU’s International Programs, the Institute for Hospice and Palliative Care in Africa at HAU and APCA.

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In Africa, possibly the place of greatest need and the least likelihood of success, Dr. Anne’s insights, iron will, and selfless devotion have made this great work a reality. She has created a culturally sensitive model that has brought accessible care and affordable pain-management to thousands of current patients–and millions yet to come.  The spirit, means, effective impact, and the limitless potential of this great mission embodies the culmination of practicality with the ideal that all lives have equal value.

However, Dr. Anne’s work and this mission are far from complete. Throughout the developing world in many countries, similar obstacles still pose an impasse to palliative care.  Despite the brilliant work that has been achieved in Uganda, palliative care is reaching only an estimated 10% of those in need. Millions in Africa and around the world lack care. A significant obstacle is the general public’s lack of awareness about this need and a solution; exemplified by Hospice Africa Uganda.

The Human Rights Watch has observed that people with disease-related pain often express the same sentiments as victims of torture: saying that the pain is so unbearable that they would do anything to stop it. Surely it is a human right to die free of pain and at peace with both our loved ones and the God of our beliefs. Death is the destiny of all human beings, but certainly a death free from pain and emotional torment is a final loving gift.