photo: Hand signals to help determine pain levels. Copyright Nadia Bettega.

Integrating palliative care into the public health system in Malawi

Photo: Mother and child holding hands. Copyright Nadia Bettega
True Colours is proud to support work integrating palliative care into the public health system in Malawi. This project, known as STEP-UP, is undertaken by a partnership between a civil society organisation, the Palliative Care Association of Malawi, and the Ministry of Health and is primarily focussed on training government staff and community health workers in palliative care and improving the distribution of essential palliative care medicines, including opioids.

The project is yielding impressive results. Palliative care is now available in each of Malawi’s 28 districts and between 2010 and 2017 there was a 449% increase in the number of adults accessing palliative care and a 708% increase in the number of children accessing palliative care. A 20% increase in the number of people accessing palliative care has been sustained each year, every district’s Health Implementation Plan now includes palliative care, and for the first time, palliative care indicators have been incorporated into the government’s National Health Information System.

Further information on PACAM can be found here.