Bringing Hope Through Palliative Care in Uganda

by Palliative Care Education and Research Consortium
Bringing Hope Through Palliative Care in Uganda
Bringing Hope Through Palliative Care in Uganda
Bringing Hope Through Palliative Care in Uganda
Bringing Hope Through Palliative Care in Uganda
Bringing Hope Through Palliative Care in Uganda
Bringing Hope Through Palliative Care in Uganda
Bringing Hope Through Palliative Care in Uganda
Bringing Hope Through Palliative Care in Uganda
Bringing Hope Through Palliative Care in Uganda
Bringing Hope Through Palliative Care in Uganda
Bringing Hope Through Palliative Care in Uganda
Bringing Hope Through Palliative Care in Uganda

Project Report | Mar 10, 2020
Bringing Hope - Update from PcERC

By Grace Kivumbi | Project Administrator

S before surgery
S before surgery

To all our donors and supporters,

Happy new greetings from the team here in Uganda! 

As we make one year since we launched our campaign on GlobalGiving, we are so thankful that you have been there for us. You have supported us in various ways and we continue to exist because of you and our patients are getting the much needed care that they need. 

We are happy to share with you highlights of our work in the last 3 months.  

Patient and family care 

112 patients and families have benefited from our services across the Mulago hospital site and Kirrudu hospital from the care provided by our multi-disciplinary team in the last 12 weeks! 

Our patients! 

S is a 35-Year-old male, with a diagnosis of fibrosacoma who presented with a huge fungating tumor of the left arm which was not only giving him sleepless nights but also overwhelming pain and too big and heavy to even turn in bed by himself. 

The palliative care team was consulted to review him by the primary oncologist, manage his overwhelming pain and the foul smell from the tumor. 

He was assessed and managed for his physical pain and symptoms with oral morphine and metronidazole powder accordingly. using a holistic approach, the distressing issues were explored and these included; discrimination because of the foul smelling discharge that prevented people from getting close to him and the loss of his limb since he was a peasant a sole bread winner. He was also distressed about his young children and kept asking how they would continue without him and hence wishing God could make a miracle for him but also continued to ask why me?                          

The volunteers who are part of our multidisciplinary team were involved in supporting this family with the psychosocial and spiritual aspects which included regular visits, help with the practical aspects like picking medicines from the pharmacy, spending time with them, praying with them and giving them hope in their seemingly hopeless situation. When surgeons were consulted for their opinion, they were happy to do de-bulking and scheduled him surgery. He had a successful surgery and his world changed at this point he appreciated the role of the multi-disciplinary team as each member played a role, this improved quality of life for the patient and his family, he was discharged, and currently on palliative chemotherapy, he has never stopped praising the Palliative care team and since then other family members also showed up since he is now well! 

He said to the team “……You are very special and best family ever that God has given me thank you for being blessing to me……”

Education and training 

The Makerere University School of Health Sciences semester commenced on 20th January 2020 and we continue to give the 4thyear medical students palliative care sessions and placements within our education and training section so we have trained 80 students. We are also delighted to be supported to run a training in Management of Pain in Paediatric Palliative care for different categories of health professionals including; Doctors, Nurses and pharmacists, these sessions have been running since November 2019 and are ongoing with placements and mentorship from the Palliative Care Unit.  We have trained a total of 92 (40 doctors, 21 Pharmacists, 31 Nurses). 

“….. I had enough time for interaction with the patient, exploring their concerns and approach of care.  I developed confidence to identify palliative care patients, assessing them, managing some problems and referring as appropriate, thank you for such a great mentoring (clinically) and the whole team for such arrangements…” (Mulago hospital Nurse on placement)

We continue to provide Palliative care sessions to 4th yr Medical students of the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) with 56 students this semester. 

Uganda and beyond 

We are honoured to be able to share our knowledge and build capacity in other countries. 

Dr. Mhoira will be away in Gaza in a few days to continue with the teaching of palliative care in the medical school. 

International placements 

We are hosting Natasha a 3rd Year medical resident from Tulane University, she is here to learn more about palliative care in our setting and will also have an opportunity to visit our partner Peace Hospice Adjumani in the Northern part of Uganda for a different experience of Palliative care in the refugee settlements. 

Sharing our Research 

We have had an opportunity to share our research work with other colleagues this February (14th-16th) we were represented at the 27th International Conference of the Indian Association of Palliative care (IAPCON) in Guwahati, Assam, India.  We were represented by Dr. Mhoira and Prof. Julia  and we had the following presentations. 

  • An assessment of Chronic illness and Palliative care needs in a South Sudanese refugee population within Uganda. Dr. Mhoira 
  • Palliative care needs and outcomes of patients with Hepatocellular carcinoma in the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) and Mulago National Referral hospital, Uganda; Prof. Julia on behalf of Florence 

            (details of all these and others are available on the Cairdeas resources section;

We thank you for reading our updates and please look out for more in our next project updates report. 

May this year bring lots of hope and blessings 

“Transforming lives, changing systems and bringing hope”

Toko supports S after a successful surgery
Toko supports S after a successful surgery
Prof. Julia  & Dr. Mhoira at IAPCON 20
Prof. Julia & Dr. Mhoira at IAPCON 20
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Organization Information

Palliative Care Education and Research Consortium

Location: Kampala - Uganda
Twitter: @PallCareERC
Project Leader:
Julia Downing
Kampala , Uganda
$43,901 raised of $50,000 goal
615 donations
$6,099 to go
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