Returning to Uganda to work on access to pain relief: a blog from our newest team member

July 2013 by Treat the Pain's Analyst in Uganda, Mr. Christopher Ntege

Morphine teamFour years ago I left Uganda to go and work in Namibia as a technical advisor on medicine regulatory issues. But when I got there, the first task I was given was to support the Ministry of Health in Namibia in strengthening and improving access to palliative care medicines. I had very limited knowledge about palliative care at that time and I even started to wonder if this was the actual task I had subscribed for.

The experience I received working on palliative care issues, especially to do with access to pain medication, seeing the suffering patients were going through and tackling head-on the policy and logistical challenges involved in strengthening systems, opened my mind. And in that moment, standing next to a patient who was dying in pain, did I realize that these "advocates" for universal access to pain medication especially morphine, had a point.

In many cases it takes a personal experience to appreciate the need for palliation and for me this happened in Namibia while working with the patients. Four years down the road I finally find myself back in Uganda tasked with the same issues. And for me, this time round, it’s even more rewarding because now I finally get to serve my own.

What else can be more motivating than that?

Check out Christopher Ntege's bio here.