Published on: August 22, 2016

Uganda BlogClose to 500 registrants from more than 35 countries participated in a three-day conference of the African Palliative Care Association (APCA) at Kampala, Uganda, on 17-19 August, 2016, jointly hosted by them and the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA).

India has a lot to learn from Uganda and from Africa as a whole. In the face of poverty very often worse than in India, they have managed to achieve a great deal by the strength of team work and tenacity of purpose. How can one not admire the pioneering spirit of the Nobel Prize nominee, Dr Anne Merriman, who adopted the country first and then embraced Africa. Hundreds of enthusiasts, with “fire in the belly” as Anne would put it, lighted the candle from her – and look where they have reached! Certainly nowhere near excellent coverage of the continent or even of the country, but certainly they are moving forward at a steady pace.

The choir raised their voices and sang, “let us raise our candles and light up the sky!”

An enviable feature of the conference was a pre-conference workshop for a whole day on 16th August for ministers and their representatives from African countries. Imagine! Ministers sitting together and reviewing palliative care activities and progress including action on the World Health Assembly resolution of 2014 and on the sustainable development goals! The Prime Minister of Uganda himself attended the event. Not just to inaugurate; but to stay and take part in the deliberations.

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