These are exciting times for the palliative care community. After a lengthy process, the WPCA and IAHPC have been formally accepted into official relations status with the World Health Organization (WHO).
Being in official relations with WHO means that the palliative care community will have a voice at WHO meetings, including the annual World Health Assembly and will be able to work more actively on committees and projects of the WHO that involve palliative care.
Another key development is the publication of the Global Atlas, expected to be published in April of this year. The Atlas will be a joint WHO/WPCA publication that for the first time defines the need for palliative care at the end-of-life for all appropriate diseases. The Atlas also addresses the current capacity for palliative care delivery; the barriers to palliative care, examples of creative palliative care programming around the world, and recommendations for policy going forward. The Atlas will serve as a benchmark for advocacy efforts to measure our progress in addressing the huge unmet need for palliative care worldwide. Additional work with WHO includes work on aging, NCD’s, gender issues, cervical and breast cancer guidelines, and more non-disease specific palliative care guidance.