Grantee details

Traveling Scholars Program Report

Theordora Ndunguru, MD

Travel date: May 18, 2017

Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: 15th European Association Palliative Care Conference

Origin: Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania / Destination: Madrid, Spain

How was this meeting/activity helpful to you?

 Firstly; l got an opportunity to meet physically my esteemed IAHPC staffs Lilian De Lima, Anna Restrepo, Genevieve Napier and others who sponsored my travel expenses, other IAHPC members across the World and create contact from different palliative care providers and several palliative care associations( EAPC, IPHPC, Palliative Care Research Society, WHPCA, ect) globally and institutions that provide palliative care education. Secondly, l got an opportunity to learn from different presentations and posters like opioids-induced constipation a challenge for cancer patients, achieving the best palliative care and end of life care, advances in pain management, introduction of public health palliative care which is a new discipline to our country. Also l got to know that we have our own APCA Atlas of Palliative Care in Africa.  Thirdly, had a chance to get contact from different Universities and institutions which provide online courses on palliative care in different levels which is advantageous to my carrier and l will introduce these to my fellow staffs so that can join the courses.  Fourthly, l got to walk around and enjoying the beautiful city of Madrid with a wonderful historical Santiago Barnabeu football stadium, this is care of carers.

How will you new knowledge & acquired skills help in furthering your work in hospice and palliative care in your program/city/ or country?

Knowledge acquired will be utilized in my day to day work in our institute on patient care, since there were several topics on pain, community engagement and volunteering,  end of life care,  dying, death, grieve and bereavement. Example l learned in opioid induced constipation a challenge to cancer patients on how to manage the challenges and to select the best treatment options.  Since we have policy and guideline in Tanzania but implementation face a lot of challenges and barriers like shortage of trained personnel on PC or trained personnel are moved from one place of work to another so by attending the conference and knowing some strategies, l will be able to advice my leaders/management not to shift staffs especially those who have been trained so that to strengthened services provision.  Also l will teach my colleagues different approaches of patients care like advance care plan and implementation of public health palliative care which is a discipline in our country.  Share with my colleagues on how to sustain the PC services in our work place/country through researches, engaging patients, families and community using public health approach of promoting health.

How IAHPC Traveling Scholars Program be improved in order to help other future traveling scholars?

Awareness campaign of the association Worldwide to international organization to support the association.   Fund raising and charity walks.  Additional Contribution from members apart from fees  

Narrative summary highlighting the needs and challanges you face

Following the second National Multisectoral Conference on HIV/AIDS held in December 2002, Tanzania passed a resolution stating that PC was to be a core component of all home based care services for people living with HIV/AIDS in Tanzania (Onyeka TC, et al, 2013) So we need PC since there is high increase of communicable and non communicable diseases.  We have policy on board, none of the plans have budgets to finance, PC is considered as part of NCDs and have focal person. Cancer treatment is free but no medicines available to all patients same as for pain and other symptoms control. Few trained staffs on PC courses from certificate level to masters degree and Tanzania Food and Drug Authority provide permit to health facilities to purchase narcotic for pain management.  The challenges we have are many, one of them is lack of support from government and community, in order to develop and improve PC services support is needed from leaders and public.  The policy is there but implementation is a problem,  by attending the EAPC Congress in Madrid, l got to know that advocacy is needed to our leaders and community as well by involving them in meetings, workshops, seminars and awareness campaign since l learned from Spain experience on Public Health Palliative Care on health promotion and community engagement.  Another challenge is lack of knowledge to most of health care providers in health facilities. Few staffs are trained on PC courses, due to labor turnover or shift from one place to another lead to poor services provision. Through EAPC congress l learn that there are many online courses that can cut across the knowledge gap that l am going to introduce to my colleague.