The African Palliative Care Education Scholarship Fund

As part of our mission to expand the availability of hospice and palliative care in Africa and worldwide, Global Partners in Care and the African Palliative Care Association (APCA) provide education scholarships to further the knowledge and skill of health care and social workers in the provision of palliative care.

The Need

The demand for specialized palliative care training in Africa is high. Nurses, clinical officers and social workers, among others, play an important role in providing holistic palliative care services to those suffering from serious advanced illnesses.. A crucial component of making these services available is ensuring that appropriately trained providers are accessible to those in need. APCA and GPIC support the training of health care and social workers to enhance their palliative care skills and knowledge. We provide an opportunity for those involved in palliative care provision – or those determined to lead the development of such services in their settings – to undergo specialist training. Training opportunities enhance skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, methods and sensitivities needed to work effectively with patients, families, health care providers and the community.

Our Impact

In 2011, the African Palliative Care Association (APCA), in partnership with Global Partners in Care (GPIC), established the African Palliative Care Education Scholarship Fund for Nurses and Social Workers. It was established with generous donations from the National Association of Social Workers in honor of Dr. Bernice Catherine Harper and from an anonymous donor in honor of the legendary palliative care service of Kath Defilippi, a nurse from South Africa.

Between 2011 and 2023, seventy-five (75) scholarships were awarded to nurses and social workers pursuing palliative care training. Recipients have been from 16 countries (Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe). In the early years, we funded many short course and diploma programs. As bachelor’s and master’s degree programs grow – and the eligible student population grows – there is more need to offer scholarships in diploma, bachelor’s, master’s, and eventually PhD degrees. Certificate and short course trainings continue to be very important to meet the varying needs of specific communities and countries.

The demand for training is high and we can only offer a limited number of scholarships each year. Some schools report that up to 50% of admitted palliative care students do not enroll because of financial difficulty.

To donate to the African Palliative Care Education Scholarship Fund, click here.