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Palliative care in education programmes

To address challenges in local and national health work forces that lead to inadequate access to services, APCA supports and coordinates skills development in palliative care. Through support for the provision of training at all levels of the health system, i.e. primary, secondary or tertiary levels, APCA aims to change attitudes toward palliative care as well as influence a task-shifting agenda (allowing specially trained nurses to prescribe opioids) to ensure wider access to quality services delivered by a dedicated trained, interdisciplinary workforce team.

Technical assistance and guidance for strengthening and integrating palliative care in both teaching programmes and relevant curricula is provided to health teaching institutions, education councils, respective local line ministries and national palliative care associations or country palliative care teams. In Kenya, Malawi and Botswana, for example, palliative care is being integrated into nursing and medical syllabi, curricula, course plans and teaching programmes. Management teams in academic institutions are sensitised; lecturers and tutors are trained, and together they participate in local curriculum reviews, providing leadership in palliative care integration in their local context.

APCA provides its partners and members with a plethora of resources, including a tested integration model. Additional resources include:

  • Support for training of professionals and local communities.
  • Provision of a core curriculum, material and curriculum review templates and guidelines, core competencies, education and training resources, including experts and e-learning, education bursaries and scholarships.
  • Technical assistance in development of local courses in palliative care and palliative care training packages.
  • Training materials and information on training opportunities.

Partners may access APCA's education resources from APCA's resource centre  and website. Available resources include the APCA core curriculum; core competencies, APCA's Beating Pain Pocket Guide and corresponding learning guide; nurse's scholarships; training of community based male care givers materials and APCA's Palliative Care Standards among others.
Resources and training from our partners can also be accessed through APCA. These include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Palliative Care Degree and Diploma in Palliative Care for Africa (Distance Learning), Hospice Africa Uganda
  • Clinical Palliative Care course for nurses and clinical officers
  • DipHE in Palliative Care, Nairobi Hospice in collaboration with Oxford Brookes University (UK)
  • MPhil in Palliative Medicine, University of Cape Town .