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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – 2024

Celebrating Women’s Contributions to Palliative Care in Uganda and Beyond.

Dear friends,

The Month of March each year is celebrated as women’s month in many parts of the world featuring International Women’s Day on March 8th. This year, while declaring the Women’s History Month the President of USA said that during this March, we celebrate the courageous women who have helped our Nation build a fairer, more just society.” We at PCAU would also like to use the opportunity to recognize the important role of women in palliative care. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, 70% of health and social care workers are women. In Africa as in other parts of the world, women play an indispensable role in family life. The African role of a woman is extremely unique and embedded in culture and social beliefs. To an extent, the important role goes unrecognized. In Uganda, women are most likely to become the principal family caregivers of chronically ill spouses or family members. We see them every day at hospitals, hospices, other health facilities, and in homes. Women also constitute the largest population of palliative care providers in our context.

This year, PCAU marks 25 years since its founding in 1999. Over this period, we have witnessed firsthand the profound impact that women have had in providing care and comfort to individuals facing sickness and life-limiting conditions, including aging. Women, in various roles such as wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties, and grandmothers, stand at the forefront of caregiving, embodying strength, resilience, compassion, and advocacy. As primary caregivers, women are often the pillars of support for those in need, offering not only physical care but also emotional and psychological support. Their dedication and selflessness serve as an inspiration to us all, highlighting the importance of compassion and empathy in healthcare. During this month, PCAU women staff extend their heartfelt gratitude to all fellow women who have dedicated their lives to palliative care. Your unwavering commitment and tireless efforts have touched the lives of countless individuals and families, providing comfort and dignity in times of need.

During this month, it’s important to continue to recognize the key role of women as caregivers and to advocate for their rights and well-being. Together, we can continue to build a more compassionate and inclusive society where everyone has access to quality palliative care. Once again, thank you to all the incredible women making a difference in palliative care and beyond.

By Joyce, Doreen, Fiona, Lisa, Cynthia, Margaret, Zipporah, Angela, Rita, and Anita.
(staff of PCAU).

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