With over 70 medical and educational professionals in attendance, the recent conference Palliative Care – an essential part of medical and nursing training held in partnership with The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, the African Palliative Care Association and the Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association was a critical success. Delegates from ten Sub Saharan Africa Countries, including Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Ethiopia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and Kenya, met in Nairobi for two days on 24-25 March 2011, gaining a unique opportunity to network together and forge new contacts to support in their work in scaling Palliative Care across Sub Saharan Africa.
The conference provided a platform for specialists to share knowledge and progress since the original conference in 2008. Keynote discussions were made by an extensive rosta of expert speakers and topics included:
– Exploring the role of private public partnerships to develop palliative care education
– Practical issues around the integration of palliative care into the nursing curriculum
– Practical issues around the integration of palliative care into the doctors curriculum
– Developing a framework for integration of Palliative Care education into national policy
– Galvanising leadership for Palliative Care through institutions of higher learning
Through interactive panel discussions, delegates were able to identify new opportunities for developing Palliative Care education in their countries, and share experiences on the development of a framework for mentorship and policy development. The conference culminated with Country Specific Action Planning by the groups of key specialists from each country, resulting in a clear road map for palliative care education in Africa over the coming period. A conference report will be available from the end of April 2011.