Palliative Care Association of Uganda on Thursday 28th June 2022 disseminated data collection tools for palliative care services to health facilities in central Uganda at Fairway Hotel Kampala.
15 facilities from central Uganda received the tools that included the HMIS OPD 008 Unit Palliative Care registers and HMIS 105c monthly palliative care report books to help them keep track of palliative care services at the facilities.
While opening the dissemination and training, Dr. Moses Muwanga, the Asst Commissioner of Palliative Care and Hospice Services at the Ministry of Health reiterated the government’s effort to scale up the provision of palliative care services in the country.
“We are here to see how we can scale up palliative care in Uganda. The majority of those who are in need of palliative care are in low-income countries of which Uganda is part and parcel. As MoH, we are going to mobilize resources for you to extend this service to those in need. This will only be possible if we have enough data to track progress and success. We need you to collect data that will guide you and us to plan well and offer palliative care” He noted.
Jimmy Ogwal, Senior Biostatistician at the Ministry of Health remarked that palliative care is now a cross-cutting issue in healthcare services but the Ministry of Health has been struggling to find information and extend this service to those in need due to a lack of data.
“We can only have information at Ministry to improve palliative care if we have data, but the challenge is that we have been mixing palliative care data with other information at facilities. There has been nothing clear about palliative care services in most facilities. We challenge you to start collecting this data. We will extend efforts and educate health workers in the district to collect this information. We have already customized reporting tools for palliative care and you will take some today. These are new tools that will be used across the country.” Said Ogwal.
Bamwoze Paul Ag Senior Information Scientist at the Ministry of Health, however, warned that if poorly used, the HMIS tools would not meet their intended purpose. He cautioned the medical workers to engage with their respective facility administrators to create Palliative Care Units for proper record taking and keeping.
These new data collecting tools were developed after realizing that the indicators previously included in the HMIS were insufficient to inform palliative care policy formulation, decision making, and research.