Palliative Care in Rwanda

After working with a large NGO on the oncology team, I learned that (according to the WHO) eighty percent of the world’s population has either zero or insufficient access to pain treatment. I teamed up with Dr. Christian Ntzimira, the Rwanda Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, Odile Umwamikazi, and Erin Gathers on an initiative to train healthcare workers in the delivery of high quality palliative care.

In just 24 hours, we raised enough funds to sponsor an entire training institute at Masaka Hospital. Our efforts so far have resulted in the entire district now able to access pain relief.

Access to pain relief is a massive and complex issue. Despite the existence of cheap and effective pain relief medicines, tens of millions of people around the world continue to suffer. Training healthcare workers in delivering high quality palliative care, advocating for access, and expanding drug supply chain reach are all necessary to tackle this problem.