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Top Health Charity Organization Downsizes, Closes Mbarara, K’la Centres

Hospice Africa Uganda (HAU), a  charity organization founded 26 years ago by inspirational Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Dr.  Anne Merriman (Right in featured photo) has announced that it is downsizing its operations in Uganda.

Dr. Merriman introduced palliative care to Uganda and Africa in 1993, initially in Kampala and expanding to Mbarara and Hoima, Providing pain relief through dispensing oral liquid morphine to patients. Through the Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care, HAU also provides training for nurses and doctors from all over Africa, thanks to Dr Merriman’s vision of introducing palliative care to the entire continent.

Dr. Merriman says the achievements of HAU would not have been possible without the dedication and support of its many donors and team members through the years.  

Dr. Merriman said: “We have had tremendous support over the last 26 years from institutional and individual donors, including HAU Boards in the UK, France, Ireland and the USA, and we are grateful to them for helping us in our mission to improve end of life care for  thousands in Africa. We have reached a crisis funding situation and we are appealing to people everywhere – in Uganda and internationally – to help us now. The need has never been greater for those who are suffering and in pain.”  

The Chair of HAU, Joan Kelly, in a statement issue on Tuesday 23rd April 2019 said the decision to lay off staff and streamline services was a difficult one  but says that the organisation was left with no choice given the fall in financial  support from institutional and individual donors.   

“For over a quarter of a century the dedicated HAU team has been working hard to improve life care for thousands of Ugandans with serious illness. We are proud that we have made a difference to the lives of over 33,000 patients and their families and we thank all of the dedicated staff and volunteers who made this possible,” Kelly said, adding:

  “Sadly, as with so many other charities, funding has been a huge challenge for HAU in the last few years and we had to lay off staff in the last week at two of our three centres in Mbarara and Kampala to ensure we survive. There has been no change in our operations in  Hoima.”  

 “However, we are determined that the work started by our inspirational founder, Dr. Anne  Merriman, will not stop, and we are doing all in our power to continue to give care to those  in need,”   Kelly explained further.

By Drake Nyamugabwa

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