Delivering palliative care medicine supplies in Zimbabwe

Integrating palliative care into the public health system in Zimbabwe

In 2017, True Colours supported a study visit to Malawi by a Zimbabwean delegation comprising representatives from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Island Hospice and Healthcare and the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean team were impressed by the integration of palliative care into the public health system and the partnership between the Palliative Care Association of Malawi and the Ministry of Health. True Colours was delighted to provide further funding to establish a Zimbabwean Task Force to assess how to integrate palliative care into Zimbabwe’s healthcare system.

In 2018, True Colours was delighted to approve a multi-year grant towards the costs of implementing the work outlined by the Taskforce.

The project is being delivered via a partnership between Island Hospice and Healthcare and Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health and Child Care. This project has been developed over a number of years. Activities comprise training of government staff and community nurses, palliative care champions and other health professionals; improving access to palliative care medicines and developing guidelines for morphine prescribing.

This is the third time that True Colours has supported a national programme to integrate palliative care into a public health system, following work in Kenya (2011-2016) and Malawi (2011-onwards). In each case we have supported the costs of training and mentorship for government staff and community volunteers while government has borne the costs of medicines and the health system itself. The model has been incredibly successful, and we have high hopes for the impact of our grant in Zimbabwe.