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Palliative care in Africa: a global challenge.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
ecancermedicalscience
1754-6605
Publisher
Cancer Intelligence
Publication Date
Volume
8
Pages
493–493
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3332/ecancer.2014.493
PMID: 25624874
Source
Medline
Keywords
  • Africa
  • Rwanda
  • Education
  • Global Challenge
  • Implementation
  • Pain
  • Palliative Care

Abstract

We are often asked what challenges Rwanda has faced in the development of palliative care and its integration into the healthcare system. In the past, patients have been barred from accessing strong analgesics to treat moderate to severe pain, but thanks to health initiatives, this is slowly changing. Rwanda is an example of a country where only a few years ago, access to morphine was almost impossible. Albert Einsten said 'in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity' and this sentiment could not be more relevant to the development of palliative care programmes. Through advocacy, policy, and staunch commitment to compassion, Rwandan healthcare workers are proving how palliative care can be successfully integrated into a healthcare system. As a global healthcare community, we should be asking what opportunities exist to do this across the African continent. Champions of palliative care have a chance to forge lasting collaborations between international experts and African healthcare workers. This global network could not only advocate for palliative care programmes but it would also help to create a culture where palliative care is viewed as a necessary part of all healthcare systems.

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