By Mary Asujo
In a bid to have Karamoja region attain better palliative care services, Palliative Care Association of Uganda has launched a drive to enable people living far from the healthy facilities access the services.
Palliative care is given to patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, sickle cells, among other diseases where most of the patients are recommended by the medical personnel’s to receive treatment while at home.
Addressing a news conference at parliament the executive director Palliative Care Association of Uganda Mark Donald Mwesigye noted that they are looking for 30 million shillings to motorcycles and vehicles to enable them reach out to people living far away from the health facilities.
Nsubuga John Bosco the in charge Matanyi hospital in Karamoja noted that they face a challenge where government provide the palliative care medicines but failing to reach out to communities that need the services due to lack of transport.
The Asistant Clinical Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr Muwanga under palliative care services noted that there is still a challenge of people appreciating the palliative care services in Uganda.
The palliative care Association of Uganda together with the members of parliament have organized a fundraising dinner on December 9, 2022 at Fairway hotel to fundraise over 200M million shillings to enable the medical persons to reach out to people in need of palliative care in Karamoja region.
Based on the 2014 census data, Karamoja is one of the regions in Uganda with at least one palliative care service available yet the average distance to the distance to the nearest public health facility by districts in Karamoja, Amudat being the district that has the longest distances of 10-15km, and mots of the other districts between 5-10km. The issue of distance and transportation costs to health facilities is a common concern for the Karamojong.
Palliative care is the active holistic care of individuals across all ages with serious health- related suffering due to severe illness and especially of those near the end of life. It aims to improve the quality of life of patients, their families and their caregivers.