Palliative Care in Uganda started to develop in the 1990s in response to the large numbers of (mainly young) people who were dying from HIV/AIDs – stigmatised by their terrified families and friends.

Access to free and effective treatment has transformed the lives of affected people, and dramatically reduced the death rate. Hospice Africa was set up in Kampala in 1993, and now Palliative care has widened to encompass anyone with a life limiting condition.

In 2006, Ann Goodman, a GP from Manchester, visited Kagando with Anne Brown and Christine Payne who were both nurses. They were saddened by the number of patients with advanced cancer who were sent home without any counselling or pain relief and saw the need for palliative care. They visited the hospices in Mbarara and Kampala to see what might be possible at Kagando, and with the support from the management and a lot of help from Tasi (who was in charge of outpatients) they started seeing patients both at the hospital and at home. Back in England Ann raised money for a vehicle to facilitate home visits, and also supported one of the nurses to get a diploma then a degree in Palliative care.

The Palliative care team is now headed by Sidora. They see inpatients, outpatients, continue to do outreach clinics in several villages and home visits. Oral morphine is available from the hospice in Kampala, and carefully monitored.

Preparing to go on an outreach. Tasi (on the right) still comes to help despite many years of retirement
Rhona and Sidora in the office