The concept of Palliative care in Rwanda was initiated in 2004, after realization of the need for Palliative care services for the patients with chronic illnesses like cancer and HIV/AIDS. The 1st Palliative Care introduction course was held for health professionals from hospitals and NGOs in 2006.
The role of PCAR in promotion/Provision of PC in Rwanda; 1) Advocacy :(Policy level)
Contributed to the development of Rwanda National Stand -alone palliative care policy, development of standard and guidelines on PC, development of Five year National strategic and implementation plan on PC, availability and accessibility of strong opioids and for integration of PC at all levels of health care. 2)Capacity strengthening; trained 168 trainers (TOTs) of health professional in referral and District Hospitals, 250 Health care professional trained from from different Hospitals and 100 Community health workers. 3) Service Delivery: Started a Hospice and Home palliative care and reached 120 patients, provided to 88 patients: comfort fund, Bereavement support and home based care.
Key Results Government integrated PC into all levels of Health system, Availability of Syrup Morphine, was put on essential drugs list, revision of law concerning the use of Narcotic drugs (allowing Nurses to prescribe Morphine)
Way forward Establish partnership between churches, Rwanda Correctional Service (prisons), and private hospitals.High-level lobbying: government institutions to understand PC (Parliament),Resource mobilization both inside and outside the country. Continuous in-service training on PC, Annual Stakeholders meeting to monitor the implementation of national PC policy, and scale up PC services especially home and hospice care.
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