Palliative care can improve the quality of patient’s lives

The Ministry of Health, Palliative Care Association Uganda, Uganda Cancer Institute held a two day conference at Kampala Serena Hotel and it was under the theme ‘Towards Universal Coverage”

The palliative care programs are still understaffed in Uganda and there’s a large need in various parts of the hospital in the critical care units and too many health care systems see palliative care as an expense

Palliative care is an important part of care that is included along with treatments to slow, stop, or ”cure” the cancer and other non communicable diseases. Palliative care can improve the quality of patients life and help him feel more satisfied with the treatment.

The Government of Uganda have strong strategies that would reduce cancer; some of the strategies are to increase human resources for cancer control, increasing access to cancer medicines and supplies, and improving access to radiotherapy and palliative care services among other- Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said

At the conference, the guest of honor, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said that the government is committed to ensuring that the fight against Cancer is on solemnly promise to win the fight. He added that the government is working closely with Ministry of Health to ensure access of quality cancer and palliative care services to the population

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda at the 2nd Uganda Conference on Cancer and Palliative Care

The regional cancer treatment centers are in operation, Gulu and Mbale are expected to be finished next year and these will ensure cancer patients to access treatment without moving long distances – Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said

The Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said that Uganda has made good progress towards providing cancer care and palliative care services and that government has acquired a new linear accelerator radiotherapy machine, bringing the total to three machines now, that are at the Uganda Cancer Institute

Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng speaking at the 2nd conference on cancer and Palliative care

The proposed national health care insurance scheme, government is pushing to have all Ugandans, including cancer patients, have access to high quality healthcare services to ensure their live healthy and long lives, Your health insurance may cover palliative care as part of your cancer treatment. – Minister Jane Ruth added

Ugandan nurses are the first in Africa to prescribe Morphine and Palliative care courses are available in local Universities from certificates up to Master level as profession – Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said

It can be a challenge to ensure good quality of life at the end of life and a peaceful death. The knowledge that you are dying often provokes intense anxiety and fear, for yourself and your loved ones. Talking through this anxiety and fear with your loved ones, friends – Dr. Samuel Guma, Executive Directive Kawempe Home Care said

At the closure of the conference, i interviewed Dr. Samuel Guma who explained what Palliative care, challenges, misconception and who needs Palliative care service. Below is the full interview


Frank Byaruhanga is a human rights activist with years of experience in community dialogues, digital communication, advocacy and digital campaigns. He specializes in Media Relation Work, Management and Training with sufficient knowledge in Governance, Accountability, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Youth-led research, Content developer, Creative Activism, Social Media Management and documentary photography.

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