Audacity to Love- The Story of Hospice Africa
This was the situation in most of sub-Saharan Africa in 1993. Until one woman came along with a vision- of bring affordable pain relief to dying patients throughout the poorest countries of Africa. That woman was Dr. Anne Merriman, and in this book she reveals how her vision became a reality.
Audacity to Love is a book of hope and achievement, written by the Founder of Hospice Africa for volunteers, donors and students of palliative care, for those who may wish to help in Hospice Africa Uganda (HAU), and for anyone who knows in their hearts that we can all make a difference.
The story of this miracle of care began in Singapore in 1984 with the first survey of patients who were sent home “because there was nothing more to be done”. In Nairobi, Dr. Anne realized the huge need in Africa for palliative care after witnessing the suffering in Nairobi in 1990. After working for Nairobi Hospice as Medical Director and in the UK, Dr. Anne and her colleague undertook a feasibility study in four African countries, seeking a suitable country for a model. After, Dr. Anne moved to Uganda it became the first country in Africa that made palliative care part of its National Health Policies and Strategies (1999–2000) and the first country in Africa to introduce free oral morphine for use in the home when prescribed by a registered prescriber. (Kampala became the location for the newly founded African Palliative Care Association some years later.)
Dr. Anne tells the personal stories of those she worked with as well as of patients, of lessons learned in countries such as Nigeria, and of support received in setting up HAU. Finally she explores the hospice ethos – with the hospice as host and the patient as guest – and the spiritual aspects and principles behind palliative care, the problems and challenges the hospice movement faces and, ultimately, the importance of the special calling of working with the dying.