Grantee details

Traveling Scholars Program Report

Charlotte Komunda, MS

Travel date: September 17, 2019

Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: 6th International African Palliative Care Conference

Origin: Kampala, Uganda / Destination: Kigali, Rwanda

How was this meeting/activity helpful to you?

I last attended this meeting in 2016 and I was impressed at the great progress in palliative Care especially on African continent. I attended the preconference workshop on multidisciplinary pain management. I have been on the lead coordinating pain free hospital initiative in all regional referral hospitals in our country and about 12 hospitals out of 16 were involved and this was targeting motivate health workers in public facilities to integrate essential pain management in their routine practice. It was a great opportunity to share my experience of this initiative in our country especially where people thought pain management was impossible (labour suite). I was able to interact with other providers from various countries and especially those that I once had a training in Palliative care and I taught them. On top of all this I was one of the rapporteurs at the conference which exposed me to a lot new information educational experience and work done on Palliative Care services. A lot was learnt from many countries that can be adopted in my own place like research.

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

I shared my lesson learnt from this conference that were pertinent to my practice and culture to colleagues. I have also shared presentation research and experience from nurses that had presentations on our forum of BSN to motivate and encourage colleagues to do research work and share such that we can be on map a lot is being done by nurses is not known but still research is lacking in palliative care.

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

I am very grateful with the scholarship and I think if we encourage more professional to join and prompt renewal of our membership can help other future scholars like me.

Narrative summary highlighting the needs and challanges you face

The main needs in my country is to have sustainable palliative care services. Palliative care services in our country are donor funded and currently most of the Palliative care services are experiencing challenges and hence facing vulnerabilities for the future which has also affected the PC providers as they lost jobs especially in the recognized Palliative care specialized places. Also validating palliative care policy in the country is very much wanting. The knowledge and skills acquired will help me in advocating for palliative care to policy makers whenever chance comes especially in our country team meeting that happen quarterly. I will also share ideas picked from other countries who have tried to sustain palliative care services with their local funding. For essential pain management I will keep supporting heath workers and facilities to make sure pain management protocols are maintained and are integrated in their day to day practice since I am still in the training and advocacy. Also make sure analgesics are available like oral morphine suspension since am the morphine supply chain officer in the country.