The what, why and how of health and development

Strengthening African health systems with palliative care

Early last month, I was thrilled to hear that an article I wrote for Think Africa Press about access to medicinal opioids had won first place in the APCA Palliative Care Journalism Awards. Part of the fantastic prize was a trip to the APCA and HPCA conference on palliative care in Africa, taking place in Johannesburg. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear stories from people working around the continent and further to get palliative care on political agendas, provide access to pain treatment, and help provide essential palliative care to thousands of patients in need. The first article I’ve written following the conference was about strengthening health systems with palliative care and can be read in full on ehospice:

Often misunderstood as care only for patients at the end of their life, the diversity and breadth of what palliative care can offer African health systems can regularly be overlooked. Other myths, for instance that palliative care is just about relieving physical pain or only takes place in a hospice, mean that the broader benefits of integrating this care into health systems are usually only known by those who provide it.

In fact, from reducing hospital admissions to helping prevent illness, integrated palliative care is uniquely placed to bring many advantages to health systems…(continue reading)

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