Palliative Care in Rwanda: Aiming for Universal Access

J Pain Symptom Manage. 2018 Feb;55(2S):S77-S80. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.03.037. Epub 2017 Aug 10.


In 2011, Rwanda's Ministry of Health set a goal of universal access to palliative care by 2020. Toward this audacious egalitarian and humanitarian goal, the Ministry of Health worked with partners to develop palliative care policies and a strategic plan, secure adequate supplies of opioid for the country, initiate palliative care training programs, and begin studying a model for integrating coordinated palliative care into the public health care system at all levels. It also initiated training of a new cadre of home-based care practitioners to provide palliative care in the home. Based on these developments, the goal appears within reach.

Keywords: Rwanda; equity; global health; pain; palliative care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Health Personnel / education
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care* / methods
  • Rwanda
  • Universal Health Insurance


  • Analgesics, Opioid