Government asked to support palliative care training

By Shamim Nateebwa

The Ministry of Health is asked to consider stepping in to offer scholarships to students who cannot meet the cost of palliative care courses, or at least to subsidize the fees as is done in public training institutions.

The call is made by Dr.Anne Merriman, the Founder of Hospice Africa, who says government should ensure that all the  three academic programmes run at the Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care in Africa are included in the ministry of public service scheme of services to give graduates a channel for promotion or career progression in public service.

She adds that to date the IHPCA has trained more than 160 palliative care practitioners in prescribing liquid morphine.

While palliative care exists in 80% of the districts in Uganda, the current number of trained personnel is a drop in the ocean compared to the growing demand for palliative care.

Palliative care is an interdisciplinary approach to specialized medical and nursing care for people with chronic conditions.

It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress at any stage of illness.