HOSPICE AFRICA (HA) was inspired by witnessing the terrible suffering of those with cancer sent home to de without support, in Nairobi in 1990-2.. Palliative care from Nairobi Hospice could support these patients and allow them to dies without pain and at peace with their families and their God. But this was a problem throughout Sub Saharan Africa, not just Nairobi.
Thus HA was founded for palliative care provision in Africa. This service was to be based on a model in an African country and Uganda was chosen for the model in 1993. Hospice Africa Uganda is now the model for service, education, research and promoting excellent but affordable clinical care appropriate to the cultures in Africa. Hospice Africa (HA (UK)) was registered in UK in 1993 as Hospice Africa (UK). Hospice Africa Uganda (HAU) was registered in Uganda in 1994.
HOSPICE AFRICA UGANDA: is the Model Hospice for Hospice Africa, locally referred to as Hospice Uganda.
WHAT DOES HOSPICE OFFER?
Hospice offers control of pain and symptoms during critical illness and at the end of life. This is combined with a holistic approach to the patient and family where the patient is the focus.
This form of care is now a specialty called "Palliative Medicine". It allows the patient to die with dignity, in the place most suitable to him/her and his/her family. This is usually in their own home, so most modern Hospices have a large home care service.
Modern-day Hospice, commenced in St. Christopher's Hospice in London in 1967. Dame Cicely Saunders (RIP) was the founder of the modern Hospice movement and her team has trained doctors and nurses with the spread of Hospice methods, now falling under the specialty of palliative medicine, to N & S America, Canada, Australia, SE Asia, Sub Saharan Africa, India and E. Europe.
Hospice in Africa
Zimbabwe was the first to set up Hospice in 1979. This was followed shortly by S. Africa. Nairobi Hospice opened in 1990. It was the third country in Africa to have a Hospice. It was through our experience in Nairobi Hospice that the needs of the cancer patients and families in Africa were brought into stark reality.
In Africa, Hospice has spread in varying degrees. In the last 18 years it has moved to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Botswana, and Lesotho. 34 African countries had shown interest in 2007 at the APCA conference for all Africa.
A major development took place on 1 January 2005 with the opening of the first office of the African Palliative Care Association (APCA), in Makindye, Kampala. We are working closely with this new coordinating organisation for Africa. APCA is working already with 21 African countries. A review of Hospice and Palliative Care in Africa has recently been published.
HISTORY OF HOSPICE AFRICA
Following an article in the special edition of Contact dedicated to Hospice and edited by Dame Cicely (1991), regarding Nairobi Hospice , Anne Merriman was approached by people from several African countries seeking advice on the setting up of a similar service for their own country. Hospice Africa was conceived.
Those from other African countries wishing to start a service themselves would come to the model hospice to learn about affordable hospice initiation and how hospice can work in the African situation. They would then return to their own country to commence a service and education programme suitable to their own needs.
A feasibility study of the countries requesting Hospice was completed in April 1993. As a result, Uganda was chosen and accepted for the "model Hospice". The first patient was seen in Kampala in June 1993 but the service started officially at the end of September 1993. The World Health Organisation had given written support of this venture.
Further information on the history of modern hospice and Hospice Africa will be found in the following book: Merriman A. Audacity to Love, the story of Hosipce Africa, Iris