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Global Exchange

Implementing a Palliative Care Nurse Leadership Fellowship Program in Uganda

Julia Downing
Mhoira Leng
Liz Grant
ONF 2016, 43(3), 395-398 DOI: 10.1188/16.ONF.395-398

Global oncology and palliative care needs are increasing faster than the available capacity to meet these needs. This is particularly marked in sub-Saharan Africa, where healthcare capacity and systems are limited and resources are stretched. Uganda, a country of 35.6 million people in eastern Africa, faces the challenges of a high burden of communicable disease and a rising number of cases of non-communicable disease, including cancer. The vast majority of patients in Uganda are diagnosed with cancer too late for curative treatment to be an option because of factors like poor access to healthcare facilities, a lack of health education, poverty, and delays resulting from seeking local herbal or other traditional remedies. This article describes an innovative model of nurse leadership training in Uganda to improve the delivery of palliative care. The authors believe this model can be applicable to other low- and middle-income countries, where health resources are constrained and care needs are great.

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