NCID interview with Anne Merriman
February 1, 2013
Professor Anne Merriman
Hospice Africa, Uganda
Palliative care and affordable morphine
Professor Anne Merriman explains the importance of affordable palliative care and expanding the distribution of prescribed morphine. In Africa, the largest problem facing palliative care workers involves overcoming the stereotypes and negative connotations associated with morphine.
Many believe that the use of morphine will bring problems such as addiction and deviation from prescribed courses. Professor Merriman worked to bring affordable morphine to patients since 1993 where she started talks in Kenya and Uganda, which now see production and distribution within the country. Only 15 countries in Africa currently allow the prescribing of morphine. Professor Merriman stresses that if a patient’s pain cannot be controlled than holistic care cannot be brought in either.
To combat these problems, programmes such as the ‘Initiators Programme’ and a degree in palliative care have been developed to train people in proper methods of treating patients.
These are interviews with key participants of the National Cancer Institutes Directors Meeting organized annually by the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France. The interviews were produced by eCancer.