Thirteenth April 2012 marked a significant development for palliative care in Zimbabwe.
At a meeting hosted by the African Palliative Care Association (APCA), the leaders of Hospice Palliative Care Association of Zimbabwe (HOSPAZ) and the Island Hospice and Bereavement Service (IHS) met to discuss the national strategy for palliative care scale-up in the country.
The two organisations vowed increased collaboration and partnership and developed a terms of reference for future collaboration.
A key strategy to underpin the collaboration was the need to develop annual benchmarks for palliative care development in Zimbabwe and to identify how the two organisations can meet these targets in a collaborative manner. Consequently, APCA agreed to fund a national palliative care situational analysis to identify the gaps and opportunities for palliative care development in the country and inform the development of the benchmarks and development indicators. Once the results of the situational analysis are disseminated in June 2012, the two organisations will hold a stakeholders meeting a few months later to discuss national palliative care development needs and develop a joint strategy for palliative care development in the country.
Speaking after the meeting, Ms Girlmerina Matiza, Executive Director for HOSPAZ, said: 'Today we have achieved a great deal and it has provided clarity on how HOSPAZ and Island Hospice can work together to provide leadership for palliative care development in Zimbabwe. We need each other.'
Dr Dickson Chifamba, Executive Director of Island Hospice, remarked: 'I feel truly grateful for the opportunity to meet and discuss how our two organisations can explore synergies and support palliative care development in Zimbabwe. We look forward to working more closely with our national association to provide leadership and strategy for palliative care in the country and we appreciate the partnership and support from the African Palliative Care Association, who have supported this meeting.'
Dr Faith Mwangi-Powell, Executive Director of APCA, who facilitated the meeting, commented: 'It was such a privilege to spend time with the founders of palliative care in Africa. The enthusiasm and the willingness to learn and share was tangible. The success of palliative care development and collaboration in Zimbabwe is one we can all celebrate.'
Click here for more information about HOSPAZ and Island Hospice.