Ugandan Art Consortium is joining with Makerere University in sponsoring a conference on Using Arts in Health Care October 5-6 at Makerere University in Kampala. Venny Nakazibwe, Dean, Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts will welcome delegates to the conference and introduce the keynote speaker, Jill Sonke, Director, University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine.
Artists, medical providers, academics, health administrators and others working in the field will be invited to participate. Over 200 people are expected to attend. This will be the first-ever nationwide Arts in Health Care Conference to be held in Uganda. The planning committee for the conference issued the following Statement of Purpose for the Conference:
What is Arts in Health Care? A Statement of Purpose
Physical, psychological and emotional health are closely related. Medical experience clearly shows that patients make the greatest progress in recovery from illness and injury when their emotional and psychological needs are also being met. Self-confidence, self-esteem, emotional connection to family and community are vital factors in patients’ well-being. This is especially true is treatment of diseases such as HIV-AIDS where fear, guilt, and social stigma, and despair can weaken the body’s defenses and a person’s will to survive.
Offering a chance to learn and practice artistic skills gives patients a chance to express their feelings, develop and use their inherent talents, and to cooperate with others in a community setting. Combined, these elements can make a substantial contribution to a patient’s self-esteem and will to survive. This more positive mental and emotional framework can foster optimism, determination and a road to recovery.
Music, dance, creative writing, painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, tie-dye, jewelry making are some of the arts that have been used in hospitals, clinics, mental hospitals and community settings to speed patients recovery.
Many of these ideas and programs have been developed by artists moved by compassion to reach out and try to alleviate the suffering of their fellow humans. At the same time, other programs have been developed by medical workers and administrators in the search for more effective medical treatment.
Now for the first time in Uganda, we are calling together the artists, doctors, nurses, administrators and educators in this field to come together and share their ideas and experiences. This conference can help spread the use of Art in Health Care, and make it more effective and accepted as a standard part of medical treatment.
By bringing together hundreds of practitioners we can find the best ideas, the most effective programs, and the innovations we seek to constantly improve ability of patients to survive and recover from illness.