Through the African Palliative Care Association (APCA) led project on fast tracking strategic advocacy for the inclusion of palliative care in Universal Health Coverage in Africa, PCAU has continued to engage different stakeholders to see to it that PC is integrated in the UHC processes in Uganda.
The project has seen palliative care providers in Uganda trained on strategic advocacy. It has also involved empowering direct stakeholders (palliative care patients and their families) to take frontline positions in advocating for their own rights.
One of the other key deliverables for this project is to popularize the African Essential Palliative Care Package for Universal Health Coverage which has four components that touch essential palliative care medicines, essential equipment, patient supportive devices, technologies and supplies, Human Resources and psychosocial interventions.
On the 9th April 2021, PCAU held a meeting that was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health, African Palliative Care Association, Palliative care specialists, hospices & palliative care organizations, as well as other development partners. The aim of the meeting was to review the draft palliative care package for Uganda that was drawn from the essential package for Africa.
The essential Package for UHC in Uganda will serve as a tool for providing brief harmonized information to UHC actors and that way only one language will be spoken by all the players and this information would guide on planning, budgeting & monitoring access to the essential elements for Palliative care in UHC in Uganda.
During the meeting, it was noted that much as specialized palliative care has been in Uganda for nearly 30 years, it is still not yet universally available for everyone and there is a lot of evidence to suggest this like the Lancet Commission report of 2017 and the APCA atlas necessitating the development of a palliative Care package for Uganda.
In his remarks, Dr. Emmanuel Luyirika the Executive Director of the African Palliative Care Association (APCA) highlighted the evidence for palliative care need in Africa, the recommended package, why the essential palliative care package for inclusion in UHC, shared case Studies for good practices, and technical support for adaptation and adoption of the package.
The discussion recommended the integration of palliative care at all levels of care and also into the existing programs as well as interesting local donors to generate funds to support palliative care.