Decolonising palliative care

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Published: 22 Apr 2021
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Dr Christian Ntizimira - African Center for Research on End of Life Care, Kigali, Rwanda

Dr Christian Ntizimira speaks to ecancer about his presentation at the Palliative Care, Culture and the Clinic Symposium 2021.

Dr Ntizimira starts by talking about the aims of the meeting, before going into more detail on his own work. He explains that what he means by 'decolonising palliative care' is taking into account critical points about social and cultural context when providing palliative care. Dr Ntizimira says his personal conviction is that palliative care is about humanity, dignity and the human being - qualities which are particularly important at a time where Rwanda is commemorating the 27th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi.

Dr Ntizimira says that the conclusion of his presentation was that the way a patient dies reflects the way that the society lives. The local context will have different definitions of living and dying, and without taking this into consideration international standards may become a source of social injustice. He encourages colleagues to learn from each other and share experiences, both on a local and global level. He closes by continuing to talk about his own work and future aims.