While most graduation ceremonies might have certificates awarded with a handshake, this was not the case at the inaugural graduation ceremony of the Institute for Palliative Medicine for Africa on 26 August, 2011.
Of the 82 nurse and clinical officer graduates of the Clinical Palliative Care Diploma programme, each received a certificate endorsed by the Ministry of Education, along with a sincere hug from institute founder Professor Anne Merriman.
In Professor Merriman's welcoming remarks, she reminded the graduates that Uganda is the first country in the world to allow nurses and clinical officers to prescribe morphine for palliative care. Her sentiment was endorsed by Dr. J C Muyingo Minister of State for Higher Education who served as the keynote speaker at the event and said to the graduates: "You have made history…As pioneers you've been courageous; an important choice to mitigate the impacts of pain."
APCA's programme Officer for Education and Standards Bernadette Basemera was among the graduates conferred and said that the certificate will enable her prescribe oral morphine to ensure all patients in pain have access to the required medication. "I'm happy that such efforts have made by the government of Uganda," Basemera said.
Caption: APCA's programme Officer for Education and Standards Bernadette Basemera (right) is among the graduates for Ugandan nurse morphine prescribers.
Photo credits: Shelley Enarson