The Zimbabwe National Health Strategy (NHS 2016 – 2020) recognizes the need to provide palliative care services to the citizens of Zimbabwe. Palliative care provides a holistic approach in the care of people with life-threatening illnesses or any serious health related suffering e.g. the current COVID-19 in a multidisciplinary manner. The physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and their families are addressed. These developments are against the background of increasing recognition of the opportunities for improving quality of health care and strengthening efforts for universal health coverage through palliative care as well as the challenges of unmet need; that led to the World Health Assembly Resolution of 2014 (WHA67.19) calling for all Governments to integrate plans for palliative care into their national health policies. Palliative care is the most appropriate model of care for today’s health care environment currently faced with the global challenge of COVID-19, and in Africa the threatening worsening of other communicable and tropical diseases like TB and Malaria and HIV/AIDS which has become a chronic condition coming with its complications, this in addition to the growing figures of non-communicable disease like cancers, stroke, diabetes etc. The appearance of COVID-19, highlights the urgency of palliative care teams in the communities and health facilities to holistically deal with all the health problems we are faced with. The palliative care certificate aims to dispel fear and myths among all who in one way or the other deal with or encounter sick patients. The certificate will provide participants with a base on which to confidently engage in the care of patients with life-threatening and serious health related illnesses and provide them and their families the quality of life they deserve. The certificate course allows clinical and non-clinical participants to discuss issues that impact holistic care provision.
On completing the certificate, candidates will be ambassadors of palliative care in their own communities and their disciplines and some will consider taking on a diploma or degree in palliative care according to their work needs and the theory covered during the certificate course will be useful in their further training.
Minimum diploma or degree holder.
Duration: 1 Semester (30-38hours), candidates will get a certificate after fulfilling all the requirements of the course: attending online classes, submitting all the assignments and examination.
- 6 hours per month of online classes for one semester, 3 assignments and a 3 hour written examination on completion of the course.
- Introduction to Palliative Care
1.1: Definition of Palliative Care
1.2: Palliative Care Principles
1.3: Team Work
1.4: Ethical issues in palliative care
- Palliative care symptoms summary
2.2: Other Symptoms
- Communication in Palliative care
3.1: Principles of communication
3.2: Communication Skills
3.3: Self Awareness in counselling
3.5: Working with families
3.6: Breaking bad news
- Social and Spiritual issues in Palliative Care
4.3: Effective Chaplaincy
4.4: Dealing with a family member with a serious health related illness
4.6: Health and cost
- Emotional issues in Palliative care.
5.1: Fears and losses of a life-threatening illness and coping mechanisms
- Death and dying
- Death awareness (Death and ourselves)
7.1: Living will/Advance directive
7.2: End of Life care