We received this update from A Partnership in Caring Volunteer Lynn MacDonald following their recent visit to Uganda:
Carolyn and I have spent 4 days with Hospice Africa in Kampala Uganda. Hospice Africa was founded by Dr Anne Merriman, a British/Irish physician who has spent most of her life in different parts of Africa. Almost 25 years ago, she developed a formulary to reconstitute oral powder morphine, and make it affordable to resource poor countries. She also brought the Hospice movement to Uganda, and other African countries through education initiatives. She was kind enough to offer her hospitality and we spent our time studying how Hospice works in a resource poor country.
There are many obstacles to providing home care, immense poverty, poor roads, poor sanitation, over population, and a great deal of pollution. We visited mostly impoverished patients in slum conditions, with open sewage, piles of garbage everywhere. But no one is turned away, the service and morphine is provided free of charge. There is a huge incidence of HIV/AIDS and its many concurrent diseases and complications, many cancers, TB, Malaria, Cholera and on and on. It was an overwhelming time for us.
We could only bear witness to the suffering. Very grateful to Dr Merriman and the staff at Hospice Africa Uganda for this opportunity. Their website is www.hospiceafrica.or.ug