Grantee details

Traveling Scholarships Program Report

Michael Owusu-Ansah, MD

Travel date: August 16, 2016

Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: 5th International African Palliative Care Conference

Origin: Kumasi, Ghana / Destination: Kampala, Uganda


How was this meeting/activity helpful to you?

I was very pleased attending the conference and felt it was well worth the registration fee, travel expenses and accommodation fee. I gained valuable experience that can be implemented in my institution. In addition, I learned new methods for wound debridement (maggot therapy) and how to skirt around and manage challenges in my practice. The networking experience was very beneficial. I was able to speak with several experts in Palliative Care who provided tips and useful information for some dilemmas faced in my practice of Palliative Care and also for my proposed thesis topic. The conference was very organized and the speakers gave extremely valuable information worth thinking about. The exhibition hall provided a friendly, informative place to meet with vendors, sponsors and view their products and services as well as interact with some key personnel for the conference. In addition, the meals and refreshment breaks were nice even though they were quite different from what I usually enjoy in Ghana. I must say I will love to attend a well-organized future conference like this.

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

Ghana has chalked some success in the implementation of Palliative Care although many challenges abound especially resource mobilization. Many health care providers also lack the basic skills to even break bad news let alone care for the dying. The only method for training until recently was workshops usually organized for health care professionals by some foreign organizations which sometimes do not meet the needs of the people. Also these one of meetings do not have greater impact to equip health care workers to boldly embrace Palliative Care. The knowledge and skills acquired will help me together with my team train health care professionals by organizing continuous professional education and also building champions who will be focal persons in every directorates of the hospital. I also gained a lot from the area of academic research. I will identify some needs and challenges facing the health sector in the area of Palliative care for research. These write ups will be useful for presentation either as posters or oral presentations in other coming conferences.

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

IAHPC should be congratulated for the wonderful support. Even in their constraints they were able to provide for all grantees. I hope and pray that more funds will come their way to support such wonderful course and also to promote Palliative care globally. The desire to acquire knowledge, improve on individual skills and aspirations of any applicant should also propel the applicant to also search for some funds which may be supported by IAHPC in other that more persons can make it to other conferences.

Narrative summary highlighting the needs and challanges you face

As part of the 15 people sponsored for the 5th International African Palliative Care Conference, hosted by the African Palliative Care Association and the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance, I will say that great knowledge and skill has been acquired. Ghana has chalked some success in the implementation of Palliative Care although many challenges abound especially training and resource mobilization. Many health care providers also lack the basic skills to even break bad news let alone care for the dying. The only method for training until recently was workshops usually organized for health care professionals by some foreign organizations which sometimes do not meet the needs of the people. Also these one-time meetings do not have greater impact to equip health care workers to boldly embrace Palliative Care. The care of the terminally ill patients and family is mainly limited to few institutions in the urban centres neglecting the suffering in per urban and rural communities. The knowledge and skills acquired will help me together with my team train health care professionals by organizing continuous professional education in Palliative care and also building champions who will be focal persons in every directorates of the hospital. Newly qualified medical doctors and nurse will mentored in the area of taking care of terminally ill patients and also communication. Some communities will be adopted and their health personnel interested in palliative care will be trained. To sustain the project, interested community leaders and members will also be trained to care for the sick and also identify acute symptoms which will need prompt intervention as practiced in Uganda. My desire is that Palliative Care will be available as air in Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and Ghana as a whole. I also gained a lot from the area of academic research. I will identify some needs and challenges facing the health sector in the area of Palliative care for research. These write ups will be useful for presentation either as posters or oral presentations in other coming conferences.


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