Nobel nomination for Liverpool doctor

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Dr Anne Merriman © Hospice Africa Uganda

Dr Anne Merriman © Hospice Africa Uganda

A Liverpool doctor has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Professor Dr Anne Merriman is the founder of Hospice Africa, a Merseyside- based charity that aims to provide and improve the treatment of terminally ill people in sub-Saharan Africa.

Born in 1935, in Walton, Dr Merriman became a medical doctor before focusing on palliative care.

The charity was founded in August 1993. In November that year, Dr Merriman started working at Hospice Africa Uganda, their principal partner. She discovered that paracetamol was the strongest form of pain relief which was available to those with cancer, HIV/AIDS and other terminal illnesses.

Dr Merriman applied her previous experience in palliative care to those she saw suffering in Uganda. Eventually, she was able to convince the Ugandan government to allow the use of oral morphine for pain relief – a key element in her pioneering the ‘Merriman Model’.

The Nobel Peace Prize nomination is in recognition of the ‘Merriman Model’, which she devised in Kenya, and the other work successfully undertaken by Hospice Africa, such as spreading the hospice ideal in Africa and fundraising in Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Cameroon.

The former Broughton Hall schoolgirl is one of the candidates the Nobel committee will consider for the award later this year.

In a written message addressing the volunteers of Hospice Africa Uganda, Dr Anne Merriman expressed her gratitude to everyone who had been involved, “particularly to those throughout Africa who are spreading the word to care for those suffering so much in a continent with so little access to curative therapy and research for cancers”.

The 78-year-old added: “This nomination for the Nobel Peace prize is in my name, but it is for you. It is here to assist us to move forward more quickly as we must always remember those we cannot reach, who are suffering so much still, akin to torture.”

JMU Journalism Radio reports:

Dr Anne Merriman

About Julianna Petkovich, JMU Journalism