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Mapping palliative care activity across Africa

05 May 2017
  • The APCA team engaged in mapping of palliative care services in a research collaboration: (left to right) Fatia Kiyange, Dr Emmanuel Luyirika, Eve Namisango.
  • Researchers from the University of Navarra and Mount Sinai School of Medicine spearheaded the initiative.

The APCA Atlas of Palliative Care in Africa will be launched at the 15th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care in Madrid this month.

The APCA Atlas of Palliative Care in Africa (APCA Atlas) was conceived in January 2016, aiming to provide comprehensive, up-to-date information on palliative care development in Africa. The Atlas was produced through a partnership among the following institutions: the African Palliative Care Association, the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and the ATLANTES Research Program at the Institute for Culture and Society of the University of Navarra.

The APCA Atlas of Palliative Care in Africa comes at a crucial time where palliative care is growing in African countries, but the growth has been unevenly distributed. It is the first report of its kind to comparatively analyse African countries’ progress in palliative care, and there has been no document providing a comprehensive overview of the palliative care situation in Africa in the past decade.

The APCA Atlas provides information on 48 of the 54 countries on the continent and provides a cross-country comparison of the progress of palliative care in Africa.

"I call upon partners, palliative care practitioners and institutions to utilise this resource regularly.  In doing so, the African Palliative Care Association acknowledges the vital role of governance and political will to strengthen palliative care services to patient and caregiving populations in the greatest of need," said Dr Emmanuel, APCA Executive Director, in the Atlas Preface. 

The authors plan to focus on disseminating this information to key experts in African countries so that it may be used for advocacy efforts in working with governments and Ministries of Health.

The authors of the APCA Atlas of Palliative Care in Africa said: “We truly thank all of those who volunteered their time for the project. We thank the key informants, country experts, and international committee members for all of their assistance in making this APCA Atlas a reality as well as their tireless work in building up palliative care in their respective countries.”

Ministries of Health from across Africa can set national strategies for the development of palliative care in their respective countries.

To find out more about the APCA Atlas, please contact John Rhee, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, at

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