Nahla Gafer is a clinical oncologist at the Khartoum Oncology Hospital (previously RICK). She completed a fellowship from the Sudanese Board of Medical Specializations in clinical oncology, and is a current student of a Master’s degree in Palliative Care from King’s College London. Since 2009, and after attending the Hospice Africa Uganda initiators course in PC she was involved in developing PC services at her centre and nationwide. In 2015 she completed a Fellowship in Pain & Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin and helped secure constant supplies of oral morphine in several hospitals in Sudan.
Through Comboni College of Science and Technology (CCST) several workshops and courses were executed in Sudan: Basic and advanced courses in palliative care to health professionals and volunteers, a workshop in paediatric palliative care, a pain management workshop to 100 candidates from 22 hospitals in the state of Khartoum. Such trainings were conducted in the period 2010 to 2015 with collaboration with Hospice Africa Uganda, IAHPC, Cairdeas and ICPCN. Not less than 350 candidates were sensitized into palliative care.
Dr Gafer has been involved in regional training in palliative care – in Kuwait WHO PC workshop and in Mauritania through Cairdeas Sahara. From 2016 the course “Palliative Care for Health Professionals” got approval from the Sudanese Ministry of Higher Education and is run regularly at CCST on Saturdays for 6 weeks with local personnel. More than 200 candidates completed the course up to date. There is a project to develop a Post Graduate Diploma in PC for one year. CCST with a fund from APCA has also started a PC research centre in October 2016.
Sudan moved from a country with only capacity building activities (WPCA 2006) to a country with limited provision of PC (WPCA 2011). Currently three oncology centres and one general hospital have dedicated palliative care units. Training is continuing to reach other sectors. Projected trainings in 2019: at the oncology centre in Port Sudan and to the family physicians in the state of Gezira.
Dr Nahla Gafer is interested in the field of research, especially introducing palliative care early on for life-limiting diseases. She likes to watch drama and play chess.