Developing palliative care services in Uganda, Africa and Serbia (#145)
The WHO estimates that around 20 million people need palliative care at the end of life, each year. Similar numbers are anticipated to need palliative care in the year before death, therefore around 40 million adults and children need palliative care each year, with around 80% living in low and middle income countries and 6% being children (WHA 2014). Thus the need for palliative care in different parts of the world is great, and with the signing of the recent resolution on palliative care by the world health assembly, member countries are being required to report on progress of integration and development of palliative care services. The public health model for palliative care development, initially described with four foundation measures – education, implementation, policy and drug availability, with the addition of the fifth pillar of research – provides a framework for extending access to palliative care services. Since the Cape Town Declaration in 2002, which stated that palliative care is a right of every adult and child, that control of pain and symptoms is a human right, that all members of the health care team need training on palliative care, and that palliative care should be provided at all levels of the health care centre; much has been achieved in the development of palliative care across sub-Saharan Africa, yet there is still much more to do in order to ensure accessibility to services. Experiences of developing services in sub-Saharan Africa, and in particular Uganda, will be shared, addressing both the successes but also the challenges and lessons leant. An example of how such lessons learnt can be applied in other situations, such as Serbia, will be given, and key successes shared.