We believe that all people deserve access to pain control and we want to help insure that all people have access to pain control medications. Initially, Hospice Without Borders, in collaboration with our friends from "Treat the Pain," at the American Cancer Society, Hospice Africa Uganda, and the Rwanda Ministry of Health, began importing Morphine powder to the Republic of Rwanda.
On November 13, 2014, we began our initial production of an oral morphine solution to support the Rwandan National Implementation Plan for Palliative Care. Our initial donation provided 10,000 bottles of pain medication which was provided free of charge to the poorest patients with the greatest clinical need.
We are most grateful to the Honorable Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Minister of Health, for her support in this effort.
Why we must strive tirelessly...
The five year old boy, seen here on his mother's lap, is being given 1/2 milligram of oral morphine solution using an oral syringe, under the guidance of our palliative care team. Unfortunately, this little boy was suffering from an incurable and terminal cancer of the head and neck.
His mother told us after just one day of regular dosing of morphine, he was sleeping better at night, feeding better during the day, and was able to tolerate being uncovered and held. This is the peace that pain control can bring to a young child and his family.
PAIN RELIEF FOR ALL - PAIN RELIEF KURI BOSE
From Dr. David Slack, Executive Director
In 2010 we started the long journey of developing processes and relationships with the Rwandan government and key stakeholders to bring this crucial component of palliative care to the people of Rwanda. In 2014 we were permitted to sponsor the first kilogram of morphine powder to ever come into the country for the purpose of creating an oral solution to support the development of palliative care. It is estimated that it will take 95 kilos annually to meet the needs of the Rwandan people to American standards.
This photo shows the first 100 bottles of oral morphine solution we produced at Labophar, the pharmaceutical production facility in Butare overseen by the Rwandan Biomedical Center (RBC).
We were greatly supported by our friend, and expert consulting pharmacist from Hospice Africa Uganda, Mr. Chris Ntege, who was instrumental in helping our Rwandese colleagues develop the procedures and insure good manufacturing process.
These morphine bottles, each 200ml, will last 6 months at room temperature, thanks to the bronopol antimicrobial preservative donated by our friends from the American Cancer Society. This is important, as most people do not enjoy access to refrigeration.