Conference Report

The Declaration on Palliative Care in a Pandemic: report of the African Ministers of Health Meeting and the 7th International African Palliative Care Conference, held from the 24th to 26th August 2022 in Kampala, Uganda and virtually

23 Nov 2022
Julia Downing, Eve Namisango, Stephen Connor, Patricia Batanda, Lisa Christine Irumba, Berna Basemera, Alfred Jatho, Sylvia Nakami, Harriet Nalubega, Antonia Kamate, Dianah Basirika, Joyce Zalwango, Mable Nammudu, Wedzerai Chiyoka, Francis Kayondo, David Byaruhanga, Eugene Rusanganwa, Helena Davis, Stephen Watiti, Babe Gaolebale, Lacey N Ahern, Lydia Thomas, Emmanuel Luyirika

The 7th International African Palliative Care Conference and the 4th African Ministers of Health Meeting were held in Kampala from the 24th to 26th August 2022. The theme of the conference – Palliative Care in a Pandemic – reflected the reality of palliative care provision on the continent, and the experience of patients and providers over the past 2 years. It was hosted by the African Palliative Care Association and the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance with co-sponsors being the International Children’s Palliative Care Network, the International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care, Global Partners in Care and Palliative care in Humanitarian Aid Situations and Emergencies. The conference was held in Kampala as a hybrid event, with a mix of in-person, pre-recorded and virtual presentations. The African Ministers of Health Meeting held on the 24th August was attended by delegates from 25 Ministries of Health, with 92 participants in-person and 122 attending virtually. Hosted by the Minister of State for Primary Health Care in Uganda, the participants at the meeting endorsed a Declaration on Palliative Care in a Pandemic. The main conference, held on the 25th and 26th August, was attended by 334 delegates from 40 countries, 199 (60%) of whom attended in-person. Key themes discussed throughout the conference included: contagious compassion; building a business case and evidence for palliative care in Africa; palliative care policy, funding and sustainability; the importance of collaboration and global partnerships; palliative care for all ages, children through to the elderly, and all conditions; the need to be innovative and creative, embracing technology; and a feeling of hopefulness in the future of palliative care in the region as we go forward together. The impact of the pandemic has been significant on everyone. Despite this, and the limitations imposed by the pandemic, the African palliative care community has come through it stronger, is committed to continuing the development of palliative care across the region, working together and is hopeful for the future.

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