Leading up to International Women’s Day on 8 March, we’re sharing the stories of many womxn researchers working in ASSET. Today general medical practitioner and University of Cape Town-based researcher Dr Lindsay Farrant shares her journey by answering a few questions.

Lindsay Farrant presenting her research protocol at the annual ASSET meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

How did you become interested in research?
While doing my MPhil in Palliative Medicine at the University of Cape Town around 10 years ago.

Describe your research career thus far?
I’ve had a slow start. Being a part of the ASSET study has provided me with many valuable opportunities for growth and learning. I am now enrolled in the second year towards my PhD.
Why do you think research in your field is important?
High-income countries dominate in the evidence for the need for palliative care, but the evidence for need is increasing in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). There is recognition that palliative care is part of the right to health and health care and is recognised under Universal Healthcare Coverage and as being part of the provision of primary health care (PHC) in the Declaration of Astana of 2018. However, when assessing palliative care integration and service delivery in LMICs, it is clear that the ball is often tossed to “another responsible group”, whether in terms of policy, health systems or actual care at PHC level.
What is one thing you want to see changed between now and this time next year?
Growing and articulated recognition from players in PHC in LMICs, that palliative care service delivery is not entirely the domain of the palliative care specialists, but up to all involved in PHC; and that there needs to be increasingly meaningful collaboration on planning the way forward for education on, research into and the provision of appropriate, acceptable and feasible care for those in need of palliative care at a PHC level in LMICs.