Travel date: May 18, 2022
Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: 12th World Research Congress of the EAPC
Origin: Kampala, Uganda / Destination: Vilvoorde, Belgium
The online meeting supported me get updates in palliative and specifically in paediatric palliative care. These will be very helpful in the care for patients with palliative care needs in Uganda.
At Mildmay Uganda where I work, we are one of the beacon centres for Paediatric Palliative Care In Africa. We do run a diploma in Paediatirc Palliative Care. I shall use the acquired knowledge and skills to strengthen the palliative care services at Mildmay and specifically to make meaningful additions to the diploma curriculum during revision.
The virtual option is cheaper and provides an opportunity for more scholars to attend the conference and other learning opportunities in palliative care. I think this option should always be availed even beyond COVID and the number of IAHPC scholars increased to support improved access to palliative care knowledge. The application process could be made competitive.
The main need is training of a critical mass of health care workers in palliative care so that it is integrated in all health care work. Majority of the courses provided eg the paediatric palliative care diploma alluded to above and those offered by Hospice Africa Uganda are paid for and not many health care workers are able to access this. More scholarships for such opportunities especially for low- and middle-income countries would be helpful. A few scholarships for champions to attend the physical classes and attain diploma or degree qualifications would also be helpful. Five-day short course training is also useful
There have been efforts to integrate palliative care into undergraduate training for doctors and nurses in Uganda but the time provided in there isn’t sufficient to support its practice when one is out of school.
Uganda through its umbrella organization Palliative Care Association of Uganda is also still trying to advocate for palliative care nurses to be considered as a group with additional competencies in their public service structure and to have the palliative care policy approved. These once in place will support its practice and enhance eligible patient access to it.