It’s hard to believe that this is my last day in the office. I can assure you, the PCAU staff works hard. Things do not flow as smoothly as they do in the U.S. and I sometimes wonder how I would cope with working here over a long period of time. I acknowledge that I am an “impatient American!”
Earlier in the week I attended a meeting in Kampala organized by PCAU and the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER). The purpose of the meeting was to advocate for palliative care to be better recognized and included in the health care budget. Budget issues are always sensitive issues. The group was about 22 people, but a wide range of programs were represented. The input presentations were to the point and discussions productive with a plan for some basic steps to be taken to go to the President and Ministry of Health. Some time frames were developed.
I particularly liked the presentation given by the head of the African Palliative Care Association. He gave an overview of what other African countries are doing to advance palliative care. Uganda has always been seen as a leader, but that could change in the future. He said that Morocco is about the size of Uganda. It is a country that has always lagged behind. One of their goals based on the number of people was to obtain 80 radiation machines. This has already been accomplished – with Uganda recently obtaining two machines. Kenya has palliative care in all of their hospitals and Rwanda is making equal advances. There is still so much to be done, but it is good to see some advances moving forward. Challenges faced by Uganda were discussed.
Of course, I made a final journey through the village last evening to see friends. Communication is not necessarily verbal, but I can feel their struggle and their persistence to make a life for their families. I feel welcomed, but also know when I need to be back to my home and compound. I go alone to areas I’m familiar with, otherwise I go with “a local person.”
My flight is tomorrow night. I’m praying for a smooth and safe journey.
As always, thank you for your interest in these journey’s, in PCAU and our Partnership with the Center for Hospice Care. I am appreciative!