The African Palliative Care Association
Because of the lack of infrastructure in Uganda, such as paved roads and clean water, it is difficult for APCA hospice workers to reach their patients. Outreach efforts are often extraordinary, whether locating those in need of service on the dusty streets of Kampala or deep in the countryside. Using grassroots skills and simple networking tactics, APCA workers hone in on the neediest patients. In smaller villages the NGO organized group meetings; for example I attended one under a eucalyptus tree, where the organization shared information about hospices and holistic, palliative strategies. In the capital’s dusty, winding streets APCA agents would search to identify patients and treat them on the spot.
When I arrived APCA operated its communications efforts mainly through outreach without much dependence on media. To strengthen and extend the effort I created an e-newsletter for the hospices and redesigned the homepage of the APCA web site. The newsletter project was challenging because various readerships needed to be accommodated. The template had to be turnkey so APCA staff, relatively inexperienced in production, could continue to publish the newsletter after I returned to the U.S. The new e-newsletter allows for frequent updates and wider distributions. A lighter but also important task was accomplished in a visit to the Palliative Care Association of Zambia. We spent the day developing a logo and identity system including a color palette and visual guidelines. We also reconsidered the look and feel of the web site. PCAZ now has branded look to give credence and identity to their mandate, as a provider and supporter of holistic palliative care.
The African Palliative Care Association (APCA)
Support for palliative care across Africa is APCA’s mission. It serves HIV patients and their families in over 23 countries, providing diagnostics, treatment, and bereavement counseling through APCA hospices. The organization encourages respectful and culturally appropriate, evidence based care. APCA is committed to open communication, professional ethics, transparency, and accountability. Its advocacy efforts also target the advancement of the scientific knowledge base for palliative care across the continent.
Michael Thibodeau (Parsons MFA DT 2009) is an interactive designer working at ETrade.com, redesigning the present site as well as mobile applications. His illustrations have appeared in many publications including The New York Times and Sports Illustrated. As a print designer and art director he developed logo, corporate identity, and advertising campaigns for clients in the sports, liquor, and fashion worlds.