A bird's eye view of Uganda
The end of the journey begins with an aircraft. On our last day, climb into a small airplane to see a bird’s eye view of the beautiful country of Uganda.
It is never easy to say goodbye! After taking a close look at palliative care in Uganda and understanding the context and environment from the capital city to rural communities to refugee settlements, it can be difficult to retrace our steps to home. From the palliative care unit in Kiruddu and Mulago hospitals (PcERC) to Peace Hospice Adjumani to the trained VHTs and VHT Mentors – and all the many public health partners and organisations – there is so much to see, understand, and support. We haven’t been able to reach the depth of each part of palliative care provision in Uganda, but we hope to have been able to share a snapshot with you.
You’ve seen the food and the beauty of nature. We’ve discussed the history and context of Uganda in 2023. You’ve learned a few new birds perhaps, and some animals too. You’ve travelled by car with us, by bus, and by air. And—what is that? Oh, the plane is about to leave! Come outside with me and let’s hop into the aircraft. (Pictured are Vicky Opia and Dr Mhoira Leng, beside the aircraft.)
Your flight begins from Northern Uganda, just near the area where we have been working with VHTs and VHT Mentors. The trip today is provided by Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), who has worked in Uganda for almost 40 years. As stated on their website, they are an “international Christian organisation whose mission is to fly light aircraft and to use other technology to bring help and hope to people in some of the world’s poorest communities.”
Nervous about boarding such a small aircraft? You can check out the training video of their Uganda base, and see the rigors of flight school. We will be in safe hands. They also have footage from some flights around Uganda, allowing you to glimpse the beauty of Uganda through a MAF pilot’s lens. After landing in Kajjansi, an area between Kampala and Entebbe, you’ll be off to the Entebbe International Airport and on your way back home.
We hope that through this journey in Uganda, you have looked through many different lenses of those working and serving in palliative care. There is a long road to go in providing quality palliative care that is accessible to all in Uganda. This goal requires engagement at all levels, from government policies and processes to hospitals and clinics integrating palliative care services, to community-based hospices, to trained VHTs supporting the patient and family.
Quality palliative care for all involves you too – it will take all of us – to advocate, support, and strengthen systems of change and improved services. Thank you for your engagement in this journey in #BuildingaWorldthatCares.