APCA Atlas of Palliative Care in Africa
Palliative care
Cuidados paliativos
Issue Date: 
AHPC Press
The APCA Atlas of Palliative Care in Africa 2017 has been developed by a partnership of the following institutions: the African Palliative Care Association, the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, and the ATLANTES Research Program at the Institute for Culture and Society at the University of Navarra.
Rhee JY, Luyirika E, Namisango E, Powell RA, Garralda E, Pons JJ, et al. APCA Atlas of Palliative Care in Africa. Houston: AHPC Press; 2017.
BACKGROUND Since Wright & Clark’s book on palliative care in Africa in 2006, there has not been a comprehensive overview describing the state of palliative care development in African countries. AIMS To describe the current state of palliative care (PC) development in Africa according to the WHO’s Public Health Strategy for integrating PC: policies, availability and access to medicines, education, and service provision. METHODS Qualitative interviews were conducted with 16 Country Experts (March-August 2016). From those interviews, 367 indicators were derived, 130 after exclusion criteria and content analysis were performed. The Country Experts rated the indicators for validity & feasibility, a 14-member international committee of experts participated in a two-round modified UCLA-RAND Delphi consensus, and the co-authors (November-December 2016) ranked the indicators. The final 19 indicators were further defined and sent to 66 Key Country Informants from 51 African countries (January-March 2017). RESULTS Surveys were received from 89% (48/54) of African countries. Uganda, South Africa, and Kenya have the highest number of specialised hospice and PC services (71% of identified PC services); 19% (9/48) have no identified hospice and PC services. 22% (12/48) indicated having stand-alone PC policies, and 42% (20/48) reported having a dedicated person for PC in the Ministry. Zambia, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and Egypt reported some official form of physician accreditation. Opioid consumption per capita was low (75% countries had <1 mg consumption/capita/year) compared to the global average (43mg/capita/year), with highest consumption in Mauritius, South Africa, Namibia, and Morocco. 54% (26/48) reported having a national PC association. CONCLUSIONS This study shows that there is limited PC development in Africa, but there is also a significant improvement in the number of countries with hospice and PC services, compared to previous reports. Improvements in advocacy were identified, with more than half of countries reporting a national PC association. Governments need to take the steps to improve education, increase the number of services, and ensure safe access to opioids.

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