Cape Town saw the Primary Palliative Care Research forum; a group which seek to develop research to support 'all people having access to palliative care at all times and for all dimensions in all setting and in all nations'! An inspirational group of people and Drs Jo, Liz and I were delighted to share with colleagues across Africa as well as Canada, Australia, Belgium and Scotland and see something of the beauty of Cape Town. Can you see our good friend Prof Scott Murray as well as new friends Alan Barnard, Geoff and Ann Mitchell, Bart and Sophia.
We then traveled to the 3rd conference of the Africa Palliative Care Association in Windhoek, Namibia. More than 300 people from 37
countries gathered to share the successes and progress across the region since the last conference in 2007; as well as look at the key challenges and opportunities ahead. The theme was 'Creativity in practice' and our team including our senior nurse, Josephine and we were all able to
present 6 papers and 1 workshop as well as meet up with some of our Degree students. One challenge shared by most countries is morphine consumption and availability as we know only too well here in Uganda. One speaker reminded us that the USA uses 250,000 times more morphine that Ethiopia; we were reminded that pain control and palliative care is a human right; a 'must have' rather than a 'nice to have'.
Back to Work in Uganda now after a whistle stop tour to the UK to meet supporters at our annual Cairdeas Gathering, celebrate our 5th birthday and share planning discussions with Trustees and other colleagues. We are delighted to have been given a grant by the Diana fund to support our research and training here in Mulago and also delighted to have Dr Jo Dunn and Dr Julia Downing (both pictured above) join us. Our team is growing and strengthening. Meanwhile our most pressing day to day challenge remains the lack of oral morphine. We are grateful for the help of Hospice Africa Uganda but we are all struggling to find ways to support our patients in pain until this crisis is resolved and morphine once again is freely available. I will use my next BLOG to tell you some stories and to properly introduce our Christmas appeal for oral morphine but for a preview there is a justgiving site. http://www.justgiving.com/cairdeas-morphine