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Palliative care in Sub-Saharan Africa : an appraisal

HARDING, Richard
HIGGINSON, Irene
2004

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This report was written from the belief that palliative care is, and will be for the forseeable future, an essential component in the continuum of managing HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. There is now a wealth of experience in sub-Saharan Africa about the ways in which palliative care can be delivered both affordably and effectively. However, there remains a lack of properly documented evidence and research to demonstrate the importance of this work and promote its development. This report provides a review of existing evaluations of palliative care projects in sub-Saharan Africa with an emphasis on isolating the factors that lead to sustainability, local ownership and scaling up; the role of palliative care in the management of HIV/AIDS and how to integrate palliative care and Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART); primary health based care projects in two countries, Kenya and Malawi, that could provide lessons for the implementation of palliative care; lessons from other parallel programmes which mirror palliative care delivery, for example, tuberculosis programmes, and primary care programmes with good links to local clinics and hospitals, and community mobilization and empowerment projects linked to health facilities. In this way it contributes to the effort of providing an evidence base to demonstrate the importance of palliative care and provides a source of reference for policy makers, practitioners, donors and researchers

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