African health ministers meet in Kampala

By John Agaba

Added 16th August 2016 02:34 PM

Africa has no choice but to invest more in palliative care, says the Prime Minister.

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Africa has no choice but to invest more in palliative care, says the Prime Minister.

PIC: Premier Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda in a group photo with health ministers. Photo by Maria Wamala


The second session of the African Ministers of Health on Palliative Care started Tuesday at Speke Resort Munyonyo, where Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda called for more investment in the inclusive and all-round pain relief services.

Palliative care is still a far-away cry, especially in Africa, with hardly more than one in 10 patients on a long road to recovery receiving any relief services.

At the regional level, Africa trails in access to palliative care services and the per capita consumption of morphine for pain and symptom control is even below the global average.

This implies many patients and families still do not have access to adequate palliative care and pain relief services.

Health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Director International Atomic Energy Agency Nelly Enwerem Bromson, and health state minister Sarah Opendi arrive for the opening of 5th International African palliative care conference at Speke resort Munyonyo. Photo by Maria Wamala

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said: "The African region is experiencing the double burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases. This has increased the need for secondary and tertiary health care for our populations."

However, all over Africa, most patients present late, and access to curative services is limited. Africa has no choice but to invest more, and now, in palliative care, said the Prime Minister.

The continent is signatory to important resolutions and declarations at the the UN, WHO, UAC level.

At the national level, Uganda has committed to deliver palliative care services in addition to promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services as its core mission. But implementation still lacks.

The three-day meeting  will hope to come up with lasting resolutions to improve palliative care at a continent level.

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