The Palliative Care in Africa (ECHO-PACA) is a collaborative effort between MD Anderson Cancer Center, Barretos Cancer Hospital (Brazil), Aga Khan University Hospital (Kenya), Cancer Diseases Hospital (Zambia), Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives, Highway Hospice (South Africa), Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (Ghana), Korle Bu Palliative Care Team (Ghana), Project PINK BLUE (Nigeria), National Hospital Abuja (Nigeria), and University College Hospital in Ibadan (Nigeria). The overall goal of is to use the Project ECHO model to increase the number of providers in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia with the knowledge and skills to provide quality palliative care for patients with life limiting cancer diagnoses.
Cancer patients may develop a number of devastating physical and psychosocial symptoms. The caregivers of these patients frequently face significant emotional distress as well. Although there are effective and low cost interventions capable of reducing physical and emotional distress in patients with cancer and their caregivers, they are not routinely taught in medical, nursing, and health care professional schools and therefore healthcare professionals around the world may not be well trained in delivering these interventions. In many developed countries, palliative care specialists are able to deliver part of these services, but these specialists are largely not available in most developing countries. Distance and lack of resources are two major barriers for professional education in both the developed and developing world. In most of the developing world, palliative care in patients with advanced cancer is delivered by community based physicians and nurses who may lack the necessary medications and tools to deliver palliative care. Many providers have not received specialty training in palliative care, and lack the financial resources to travel to receive such education outside their region or country.
The goal of this project is to create a network of palliative care providers and to increase access to quality palliative care for advanced cancer patients in low resource regions of Africa, by improving palliative care knowledge and skills among providers in those regions, considering local resources, using the framework of Project ECHO. The ECHO Palliative Care in Africa TeleECHO Clinic is a monthly meeting which consists of a case presentations followed by a 15-minute didactic lecture.
ECHO Palliative Care Africa (PACA) is supported by a University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Sister Institution Network Fund Research Grant. PACA intends to build a network of palliative care experts in Africa, connecting regional experts and regional providers through regular ECHO videoconferences. Through these regular meetings, this network will improve the education, training and support of local providers resulting in increased access and better quality palliative care services for patients with life limiting cancer diagnoses. In addition, it will improve quality control, provider satisfaction and provider retention.
Click on any of the following links to view/download our previous slide presentations and articles
- “Delirium” (8/25/16)
- “Cancer Pain" (9/29/16)
- “Communication about Impending Death” (10/27/16)
- “Management of Symptom Distress in Advanced Cancers – Roles of Steroids” (12/15/16)
- “Difficult Pain Syndrome / Intractable / Refractory Pain” (1/19/17)
- "Non-Pharmacological Management of Pain" (3/16/17)
- "Use of Antipsychotics for the Management of Delirium" (4/27/17)
- "Developing Models of Palliative Care at Various Settings" (5/18/17)
- "Pediatric Palliative Care" (6/29/17)
- "Opioid-Induced Neurotoxicity" (7/20/17)
- "Palliative Care for Non-Cancer Illness" (8/17/17)
- "Nausea, Fatigue, and Cachexia" (8/17/17)
- "Palliative Care in Non-Cancer Illnesses: COPD, CHF" (9/21/17)
- "Healing Broken Hearts: Caring for children when a parent has advanced or terminal illness" (10/19/17)
Partners: Dr. Edwina Addo, Ayesha Boateng, Mariam Ibrahim
Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Palliative Care Team (Ghana)
Partner: Dr. John Weru
Aga Khan University Hospital (Kenya)
Partner: Runcie Chidebe
Project PINK BLUE
Partner: Dr. Oladayo Aikomo
University College Hospital in Ibadan (Nigeria)
Charles Amos, Dr.PH - Program Coordinator