Palliative Care in Sub-Saharan Africa: an Appraisal




Harding R, Higginson IJ


King's College London




Palliative care aims to maximise quality of life and relieve the suffering of patients with life-limiting incurable disease, and to support their families and carers. It is provided through specialist services such as hospices and palliative care teams and in general settings. The HIV/AIDS pandemic and rising cancer rates in Africa have increased the need for well-developed and integrated palliative care services. In sub-Saharan Africa, the concept of palliative care is not well developed and palliative care is largely confined to isolated specialist centres. Services have developed, but in very varied ways. In order to inform future developments, this review aimed to identify and appraise activities, opportunities and evidence of the status of palliative care in Africa. This report offers an overview of existing palliative care models in Sub-Saharan Africa and provides an excellent foundation for donors, policy makers and practitioners wishing to scale-up palliative care provision in Sub-Saharan Africa. [author’s description]


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