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African Palliative Care Association

Presence in: Uganda
Focus: Health

Driven by a profound desire to reduce unnecessary pain and suffering from life-limiting illnesses across Africa, APCA was formally founded in Tanzania in 2004.  We work collaboratively with existing and potential providers of palliative care services to help expand service provision (although we don’t provide direct clinical care to people living with progressive, life-limiting illnesses). We also work with governments and policymakers to ensure the optimum policy and regulatory framework exists for the development of palliative care across Africa.

APCA was established after a meeting in Cape Town in 2002 of 28 palliative care trainers from across Africa. The group produced the Cape Town Declaration, which holds palliative care and pain and symptom control as a human right for every adult and child with life-limiting illnesses. In addition, such care should be incorporated into national health care strategies, making it accessible and affordable for all in Africa.

Thanks to Uganda’s pioneering record in palliative care on the continent, APCA’s head office was established in 2005 in the country’s capital, Kampala, where several centres of palliative care expertise exist. We’ve since opened a regional office in Namibia, to enable us to better reach the Southern African region – but we work across the entire continent to promote palliative care for all in need.

Our aims
Information, Integration, Evidence

There are three key elements to APCA’s work to bring palliative care to all who need it in Africa:

  1. Information: Increasing knowledge and awareness of palliative care among all stakeholders
  2. Integration: Strengthening health systems by integrating palliative care at all levels
  3. Evidence: Building a sound evidence base for palliative care in Africa

Our approach

APCA recognises the importance of integrating palliative care into national health systems across Africa. We see this as the cornerstone of ensuring access to palliative care for everyone on the continent.

It’s not our role to provide direct clinical care to people living with progressive, life-threatening illnesses, but instead to play a facilitative role to expand palliative care service provision.  We do this by informing people about palliative care, supporting its integration in national health policies and providing a sound evidence base for its provision.

We provide a hub for palliative care in Africa, working collaboratively to build effective links between many stakeholders. These include:

  • patients, their families and communities
  • carers (both family and volunteers)
  • health care providers
  • African governments, policymakers and decision-makers
  • APCA members (both individuals and organisations)
  • national palliative care associations, organisations and hospices
  • civil society groups
  • academic institutions and educators
  • the media
  • donors (both within and beyond Africa)
  • the general public.

Acknowledging the emergence of modern palliative care from the UK, we help adapt it to African traditions, beliefs, cultures and settings – all of which vary between and within communities and countries.  In collaboration with our members and partners, we provide African solutions to African problems, through an approach based on the World Health Organisation’s four-pillar public health model of palliative care provision:

  • appropriate government policies (e.g. a national health, essential medicines and education)
  • adequate drug availability
  • the education of health professionals
  • the implementation of palliative care at all levels of health care provision.

People Associated With This Organization

Fatia Kiyange

Uganda  
African Palliative Care Association
Joined November 2016
Interests: Health
Fatia is the Director of Programmes for the African Palliative Care Association (APCA), having been the Education and Standards Manager for 5 years in the same organisation.

She holds a master's degree in Social Sector Planning and Management from Makerere University, Kampala, and a bachelor's degree in Social Work and Social Administration, also from Makerere University.

Fatia has 10 years experience working in the area of palliative care. In her former capacity as the Education Administrator of Hospice Africa Uganda for over five years, she provided advice and guidance on the Social Work role in palliative care. Her experience in palliative care cuts across core areas such as education and training; standards and wider programming.

Prior to joining the APCA team, Fatia was involved with the initial stages of establishing APCA as well as the Palliative Care Association of Uganda (PCAU). She is currently the President of the Governing board of the Palliative Care Association of Uganda (PCAU), having previously been the Secretary of its founding steering committee.

JOHNSON GITHINJI RITHO

Kenya  
African Palliative Care Association (Unverified)
Joined August 2017
I am a trained palliative care social worker holding a diploma in social work and a higher diploma in palliative care education. I have also attended various courses in para-legal studies where I developed that urge of speaking for the oppressed and those that their rights are being infringed on. Currently I am working with the Nyeri Hospice where we are propagating for the rights of the patients, vulnerable children and orphans to access all the services provided by the county and national governments.
Fatia Kiyange is the network champion (main point of contact) for African Palliative Care Association.

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