“Palliative care is important because the pain in cancer is akin to torture,” says Professor Merriman, Founder of Hospice Africa Uganda and Guest Editor of this special issue. “We have known how to control pain since 1967, yet less than 3% of people in Africa have their pain controlled.”

Contributors from Sudan, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda describe a hopeful continent in which older societal beliefs, family traditions, government policy and modern healthcare combine to meet the challenges of palliative care. Many African nations share a strong cultural suspicion of opioid medications, including morphine. Healthcare professionals may be wary of prescribing painkillers, due to a common misapprehension that they will encourage patients to become addicted to drugs. Taken together, the papers represent a cross-section of palliative care efforts in Africa in the past twenty years – and a powerful vision for the movement’s future.

Read this special issue for free.  http://ecancer.org/special-issues/6-palliative-care-in-africa.php

Access ecancer’s free Palliative care elearning course for healthcare professionals in Africa.

http://ecancer.org/education/course/1-palliative-care-e-learning-course-for-healthcare-professionals-in-africa.php

HIFA profile: Katie Foxall is Publishing Manager at eCancer, Bristol, UK. katie AT ecancer.org

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