Presented by: Alhousseynou Sall
Palliative care capacity in rural communities across Mauritania was reinforced in 2016 and 2017, through the training of community health workers and visits to several of these communities. Over 70 community health workers, selected from across Mauritania were trained in the foundations of palliative care. The three 5-day trainings were interactive, employing a variety of teaching approaches, these included lectures, small group learning and role play. Eight communities were visited, incorporating mentoring of participants, jointly visiting palliative patients, and running community conversation workshops, during which the principles of PC were discussed.
The project was evaluated through the use of participant evaluations, confidence rating scales, pre- and post-training knowledge tests, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups. Over 20 semi-structured interviews were carried out with participants, and nine focus groups with either participants, bereaved relatives or local community leaders. These were audio-recorded and transcribed into French. Thematic analysis was carried out on these transcripts by an international team experienced in social science and anthropology research.
The training was well received by participants, with many hearing about palliative care and holistic care for the first time. It is vital to involve the local community in the implementation of palliative care in the community. A Mauritanian interpretation of palliative care should be established for further incorporation into the health care system.