Factors contributing to and impeding palliative care (PC) development in Africa can provide insights into current strategies for advancing PC.
To identify key factors affecting PC development in African countries from in-country PC experts' perspectives.
Sixteen PC experts from seven African countries undertook semi-structured interviews on PC development in their respective countries. An interpretive description approach was adopted, with data analyzed using constant comparison.
Emerged themes included: drivers, strengths, challenges, and aspirations for PC development in Africa. Drivers included advocates and pioneering organizations, HIV/AIDS, culture of caregiving, and the World Health Assembly PC Resolution. Strengths included community health workers, the special role of nurses, diversity of services, and short training courses. Challenges included lack of PC education, lack of standardization in implementation, limited availability of and/or accessibility to morphine, poverty and disease burden, and lack of funding for PC. Aspirations included integration of PC, specialization in PC, nurse prescribing, and strong partnerships with Ministries of Health. Factors already highlighted in the literature were only briefly discussed.
The key factors underpinning PC development in the seven countries contributed to the beginnings of PC in Africa, fueled by advocates that built on existing strengths to maximize opportunities