A good death in Uganda: survey of needs for palliative care for terminally ill people in urban areas
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Objective To identify the palliative care needs of terminally ill people in Uganda. Design Descriptive cross sectional study. Setting Home care programmes in and around Kampala that look after terminally ill people in their homes. Participants 173 terminally ill patients registered with the home care programmes. Results Most of the participants had either HIV/AIDS or cancer or both; 145 were aged under 50 years, and 107 were women. Three main needs were identified: the control or relief of pain and other symptoms; counselling; and financial assistance for basic needs such as food, shelter, and school fees for their children. The preferred site of care was the home, though all these people lived in urban areas with access to healthcare services within 5 km of their homes. Conclusion A “good death” in a developing country occurs when the dying person is being cared for at home, is free from pain or other distressing symptoms, feels no stigma, is at peace, and has their basic needs met without feeling dependent on others.