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EAPC/APCA collaborative working Group

Workgroup mission

The workgroup will explore opportunities that will foster collaboration and partnerships that will increase European-Africa engagement to enhance the development of palliative care on the African continent.

Aims and objectives

  1. Deepening and extending the collaboration between the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) and the African Palliative Care Association (APCA), as well as with constituent members of both associations.
  2. Providing a platform for collaboration with European and African partners working in palliative care.
  3. Plan and perform a pilot study using the collaboration of European and African partners.


The workgroup had been supported by a decision of the Board of Directors of EAPC at the 2012 board meeting to deepen and formalize the collaboration between APCA and EAPC. In order to comply with this decision terms of reference were drafted (ToR) and agreed with the APCA CEO Dr. Emmanuel Luyrika (see attached ToR).  The collaboration will be coordinated by the two speakers of the workgroup from the side of EAPC, and Eve Namisango (economist, Uganda) and Emmanuel Luyirika (physician, Uganda) from the side of APCA.  The workgroup will support the collaboration as a loose network of interested individuals.

The workgroup met at the EAPC congress held in Prague, Czech Republic, in May 2013 to discuss options for increased collaboration (see minutes attached). The 13 workgroup members that participated identified areas for collaboration:

  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Clinical mentorship
  • Joint  fundraising to get funding for Africa
  • Twinning


Establishing links with academic institutions was felt to be very important.  It was thus proposed that a framework for moving this forward is developed. This might be done via  “interest research and academic groups". EAPC workgroup on collaboration with Africa should work with the existing African Palliative Care Research network (APCRN) to come up with priority research areas and then approach potential donors for funding.

EAPC was also requested to map what its members are doing in Africa as a way of harmonizing information flow and sharing.

Lukas Radbruch and Richard Harding participated in the APCRN workshop and gave lectures at the APCA / HPCA congress in Johannesburg in September 2013. This has raised some interest from congress participants about collaboration with European partners and multinational studies.

Plans for a first collaborative study have proceeded. The draft of the volunteers survey is currently under revision.  A study plan for a similar survey among the member associations of EAPC in Europe has been drafted and is currently under discussion with the EAPC Task Force on Volunteers. The two surveys in Africa and Europe will be discussed again in detail at the upcoming research week on volunteers in palliative care organized at the Department of Palliative Care of the University Hospital Bonn (chaired by Lukas Radbruch). Two medical students of the University of Bonn have been recruited to work on the surveys as part of their medical thesis.  The European-African survey will represent the second milestone listed in the initial task force application.

Abstract: Roles and motivations of palliative care volunteers in Africa

Previous activities of the work Group

The collaboration between EAPC and the APCRN has led to a series of papers on palliative care research in Africa published in the European Journal of Palliative Care:

  • Powell RA, Harding R, Namisango E, Katabira E, Gwyther E, Radbruch L, Murray S, El-Ansary M, Ajayi I, Mwangi-Powell F. Palliative care research in Africa: an overview   European Journal of Palliative Care 2013; 20: 162-7.
  • Radbruch L. Comment: Palliative care research in Africa – time to clarify the agenda and build up capacity   European Journal of Palliative Care 2013; 20: 160-1.
  • Gwyther E, Blanchard C, Namisango E, Mwangi-Powell F, Powell RA. Palliative care research in southern and central Africa   European Journal of Palliative Care 2013; 20: 242-6.
  • Namisango E, Powell RA, Kariuki H, Harding R, Luyirika E, Mwangi-Powell F. Palliative care research in eastern Africa    European Journal of Palliative Care 2013; 20: 300-4.
  • Ajayi I, Iken O, Powell RA, Soyannwo OA, Namisango E, Mwangi-Powell F. Palliative care research in western Africa   European Journal of Palliative Care 2014; 21: 45-7.


In addition, some posts were published in the EAPC palliative care blog:

  • Radbruch L: The net effect of palliative care: News from the Congress of the African Palliative Care Association. 19.9.13
  • Krakauer E, Callaway M, Foley K, De Lima L, Mwangi-Powell F, Radbruch L: No visa for health: Schengen and North American countries block medical education for clinicians from poor countries. 30.5.13
  • Radbruch L: Palliative care research in Africa, 27.11.2012
  • Powell RA, Radbruch L, Mwangi-Powell F, Cleary J, Cherny N: Failing to numb the pain. South African Medical Journal 104 (2014) 117-8


The workgroup chairs were also co-authors on other papers related to the work of APCA and the APCRN:

  • Powell T, Mwangi-Powell F, Kiyange F, Radbruch L, Harding R: Palliative care development in Africa: how can we provide good enough care? (Editorial) British Medical Journal Supportive and Palliative Care 1 (2011) 113-4
  • Powell RA, Harding R, Namisango E, Katabira E, Gwyther L, Radbruch L, Murray SA, El-Ansary M, Leng M, Ajayi IO, Blanchard C, Kariuki H, Kasirye I, Namukwaya E, Gafer N, Casarett D, Atieno M, Mwangi-Powell FN. Palliative Care Research in Africa: Consensus Building for a Prioritized Agenda. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (2013) online first
  • Cleary J, Powell RA, Munene G, Mwangi-Powell FN, Luyirika E, Kiyange F, Merriman A, Scholten W, Radbruch L, Torode J, Cherny NI. Formulary availability and regulatory barriers to accessibility of opioids for cancer pain in Africa: a report from the Global Opioid Policy Initiative (GOPI). Annals of Oncology 24 (2013) xi14-xi23

Planned activites

The workgroup will organize an open meeting at the EAPC congress in Copenhagen in May/June 2015. The workgroup will also contribute to the research activities initiated by the APCRN.

The workgroup will contribute to the development of the study plans of the APCRN, in particular the volunteer survey in Africa, and will initiate the European part of the survey on the role of volunteers.

The workgroup will also prepare a survey on African collaborations in research, education and clinical practice between European and African members. This will be scheduled for the second half of 2014 and 2015.



Lukas Radbruch
Malteser Krankenhaus Bonn
Zentrum für Palliativmedizin, Germany

to contact by email please click here

Richard Harding
United Kingdom


Steering committee


Liz Gwyther
South Africa

Fatia Kiyange

Faith Mwangi-Powell

Megan O’Brien

Richard A. Powell

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