The African Palliative Care Association's (APCA) mission is to ensure palliative care is widely understood, integrated into health systems at all levels, and underpinned by evidence in order to reduce pain and suffering across Africa.
APCA recognises the importance of integrating palliative care into national health systems across Africa. We see this as the cornerstone of ensuring access to palliative care for everyone on the continent.
It's not our role to provide direct clinical care to people living with progressive, life-threatening illnesses, but instead to play a facilitative role to expand palliative care service provision. We do this by informing people about palliative care, supporting its integration in national health policies and providing a sound evidence base for its provision.
We provide a hub for palliative care in Africa, working collaboratively to build effective links between many stakeholders. These include:
- patients, their families and communities
- carers (both family and volunteers)
- health care providers
- African governments, policymakers and decision-makers
- APCA members (both individuals and organisations)
- national palliative care associations, organisations and hospices
- civil society groups
- academic institutions and educators
- the media
- donors (both within and beyond Africa)
- the general public.
Acknowledging the emergence of modern palliative care from the UK, we help adapt it to African traditions, beliefs, cultures and settings – all of which vary between and within communities and countries. In collaboration with our members and partners, we provide African solutions to African problems, through an approach based on the World Health Organisation's four-pillar public health model of palliative care provision:
- appropriate government policies (e.g. a national health, essential medicines and education)
- adequate drug availability
- the education of health professionals
- the implementation of palliative care at all levels of health care provision.