Most people in Africa don’t have access to palliative care. This needs to change

Document Type

News Article


Internal Medicine (East Africa)


Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life for individuals – as well as their families – with life limiting illnesses. Access to palliative care should be viewed as a fundamental right but in Africa it’s been largely ignored as part of health care. It’s been given less priority than preventive and curative services.

South Africa is one of the leading countries in Africa that has realised the social economic benefits of this speciality of medicine. Malawi and Uganda have also integrated palliative care into their mainstream health care systems.

One of the challenges is that stigma has affected the acceptability of palliative care. Very often people believe that palliative care is only suitable for people who are dying. This isn’t entirely true. Palliative care is also about helping people deal with the effects of having an incurable disease.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Academic rigour, journalistic flair