This month’s Traveling Scholar is Nasur Buyinza, a Lecturer at the Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care in Africa (Hospice Africa Uganda), in Kampala, Uganda. He attended the 11th AORTIC international conference on cancer in Africa held in Kigali, Rwanda, in November.
The theme of the conference was ‘Making Strides, Creating Solutions.’ It was hosted by the multi-disciplinary African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC), dedicated to the promotion of cancer care, prevention, research, treatment, and training throughout Africa.
At Hospice Africa Uganda, our goal is to ensure that all patients with palliative care needs — including those with severe pain — receive holistic palliative care, including access to oral liquid morphine for their pain. We have served more than 25,000 patients with palliative care-related problems, but the sad fact is that this constitutes only about 10% of those in need.
While we are currently far from our ultimate goal, attending the AORTIC conference has gone a long way to help build a sustainable network that can help move the palliative care we provide to another level.
The conference included both cutting-edge cancer management and basic science and clinical research on cancers relevant to Africa and elsewhere. It attracted researchers, oncologists, physicians, surgeons, professors, nurses, palliative care experts, public health specialists, social workers, cancer patients and survivors, to name a few.
I spent more than 20 hours of networking with cancer professionals from over 70 different countries around the world.
These were my objectives:
Thanks to the Traveling Scholar grant, I have been able to develop my palliative care advocacy and research skills, which will greatly help in my day-to-day work. This is what attending the conference enabled me to achieve:
I had the memorable experience of presenting an oral poster, ‘The Psychosocial and Economic Effects of Caring for Terminally Ill Patients: The Case of Hospice Africa Uganda,’ to a large audience of international delegates.
It was just one highlight in three days of activity, including: ‘Meet the Experts’ breakfast sessions, which I found very informative; interactive workshops; industry symposia; the dissemination of research conducted in Africa and internationally; an exhibition of palliative care and cancer-related materials; and, of course, keynote addresses.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the professional work done by the team at IAHPC and your continuing support for our organization. Through this grant and other assistance you have extended to us, I want to assure you that the IAHPC has made a real difference in the lives of both the patients and students we serve.
Note: The next AORTIC Conference will take place in Mozambique from 5-8 November 2019. When information is available, it will appear here.
To find out more about IAHPC’s Program Support Grants, and our Traveling Scholarships and Traveling Fellowships, please visit our website. Through these programs we support projects and individuals around the world, especially in developing countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America.
You can contribute to this program and help palliative care workers attend and participate in congresses and courses by donating to the Traveling Scholarships Campaign in the Global Giving website.