Palliative Care Development in Africa: Lessons From Uganda and Kenya

Despite increased access to palliative care in Africa, there remains substantial unmet need. We examined the impact of approaches to promoting the development of palliative care in two African countries, Uganda and Kenya, and considered how these and other strategies could be applied more broadly.This study reviews published data on development approaches to palliative care in Uganda and Kenya across five domains: education and training, access to opioids, public and professional attitudes, integration into national health systems, and research. These countries were chosen because they are African leaders in palliative care, in which successful approaches to palliative care development have been used.Both countries have implemented strategies across all five domains to develop palliative care. In both countries, successes in these endeavors seem to be related to efforts to integrate palliative care into the national health system and educational curricula, the training of health care providers in opioid treatment, and the inclusion of community providers in palliative care planning and implementation. Research in palliative care is the least well-developed domain in both countries.A multidimensional approach to development of palliative care across all domains, with concerted action at the policy, provider, and community level, can improve access to palliative care in African countries.
Fraser, B. A., Powell, R. A., Mwangi-Powell, F. N., Namisango, E., Hannon, B., Zimmermann, C., & Rodin, G. (2017). Palliative care development in Africa: lessons from Uganda and Kenya. Journal of Global Oncology, 4, 1-10.