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Government vows to scale up palliative care training in Uganda

26 May 2016

Ugandan Health Minister, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, has stated that the government is set to intensify palliative care training through scholarships to clinical officers, because he believes that more professionals in the field would make palliative care accessible to all those in need.

The Minister was speaking at the graduation of 29 clinical officers conferred with a Diploma in Clinical Palliative Care from the Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care in Africa at Hospice Africa Uganda (HAU).

"Despite major achievements especially the work of Hospice Africa Uganda (HAU) over the last 23 years, a lot more needs to be done to meet all the palliative care need in the country," said Dr Tumwesigye.

According to the Uganda Cancer Institute at Mulago hospital, 80%of their patients have advanced cancer, and their only option is palliative care treatment so as to have a painless death.

Dr Eddie Mwebese, the acting HAU chief executive director, reiterated the huge need for palliative care in Uganda and Africa. He said according to Worldwide Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance, around 40 million people worldwide need palliative care.

"18 million people die each year in severe pain and distress due to lack of access to palliative care and pain relieving medications. 78% of these live in middle income countries and 6% are children," he said.

Dr Tumwesigye also highlighted the urgent need to scale up with the Diploma in Clinical Palliative Care Programme, which among other things, trains registered nurses and clinical officers to legally prescribe oral liquid morphine for pain relief.

You can read the full article on All Africa.

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