Hospice Africa Uganda

HOSPICE AFRICA (HA) was inspired by witnessing the terrible suffering of those with cancer sent home to die without support, in Kenya in the early 1990s.

Hospice Africa was founded to improve the quality and availiability of palliative care provision in Africa. This service was to be based on a model in an African country and Uganda was chosen for the model in 1993. Hospice Africa Uganda is now the model for service, education, research and promoting excellent but affordable clinical care appropriate to the cultures in Africa. Hospice Africa (HA (UK)) was registered in UK in 1993 as Hospice Africa (UK). Hospice Africa Uganda (HAU) was registered in Uganda in 1994.


Following an article in the special edition of Contact dedicated to Hospice and edited by Dame Cicely (1991), regarding Nairobi Hospice , Anne Merriman was approached by people from several African countries seeking advice on the setting up of a similar service for their own country. Hospice Africa was conceived.

Those from other African countries wishing to start a service themselves would come to the model hospice to learn about affordable hospice initiation and how hospice can work in the African situation. They would then return to their own country to commence a service and education programme suitable to their own needs.

A feasibility study of the countries requesting Hospice was completed in April 1993. As a result, Uganda was chosen and accepted for the “model Hospice”.  The first patient was seen in Kampala in June 1993 but the service started officially at the end of September 1993. The World Health Organisation had given written support of this venture.

The work of HAU continues to grow, so much so that in June 2010 the new Centre of Excellence for Clinical Palliative Care for Africa was opened by then-Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin, which had been funded primarily by Irish Aid and KPMG Ireland. This new centre has allowed HAU to expand both their clinical and education activities, and provides a strong basis for the further fulfillment of the objectives to provide and promote palliative care across sub-Saharan Africa.

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