Feedback from Kigali

Dr Krause gives feedback from Kigali.

Dr Krause is a Family Physician with a masters degree in Palliative Medicine and a postgraduate diploma in Health Professional education. She is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health (University of Cape town) and convenor of the postgraduate diploma in Palliative Medicine. 

Dr Krause’s research interest is the strengthening and integration of Palliative Care practices in hospitals. She is busy doing a PhD in the integration of palliative care in academic teaching hospitals within the Department of Family Medicine at UCT.

She was elected on the board of the African Palliative Care Association during the 6th International African Palliative Care Conference in Kigali, September 2019. 

Palliative care is now part of universal health coverage and this is a huge leverage point to ensure palliative care is being implemented and integrated. APCA has done remarkable work in order to gain political buy-in at ministerial level from countries across Africa to implement palliative care. An Essential Palliative Care Package for Universal Health Coverage September 2019 was launched. This is document is to ensure minimal care is being deliver. Please review this document in detail. This document needs to be presented to all health facilities at all levels of care and implemented as an integrated aspect of mainstream care. Use it as a strong advocacy tool.

Visiting Kigali was an extraordinary and profound experience. It was inspiring to see the development, passion and effect of palliative care across the African Continent. Although a lot has been achieved the task is still big, with little funding and there are still relatively few people who are willing and able to take this on. The need to collaborate and network was one of the main themes of this conference. This collaboration and networking also need to be extended beyond the medical field to social welfare, education and justice. Factors that stood out at this conference were firstly the setting, secondly the fact that palliative care is now part of universal health coverage and thirdly the amount of UCT graduates presenting from across the continent.

Lastly, I was overjoyed to meet so many of the UCT students from across South Africa and Africa at the conference. They presented excellent work and it was wonderful to see their passion to ensure palliative care is delivered. A special congratulations went out to Tonny Mwaburi, from Lesotho, who won a price for the care he delivers in Lesotho. Prof. Gwyther received award of gratitude for being on the APCA board for 6 years and I was elected on the APCA board.

“Visiting Kigali was a profound experience”

UCT Palliative Medicine graduates

Rwanda is a remarkable place. This country demonstrates how values and attitudes changes the whole country. Visiting the genocide museum illustrated how an atrocity occurred because of propaganda and because good people who did not speak out nor actively denounce hatred. However, this country is completely turned around because of strong leadership (many being women…), positive attitudes and valuing themselves to fix their own problems. Taking ownership and accountability of their problems shifted the country to vibrant, safe and exceptional country. Please visit.

I hope this short snippet of the APCA conference will inspire you to attend the next APCA conference, or even better, submit an abstract on all the wonderful work you are doing. See you in 3 years…where? Somewhere in Africa.


René Krause