APCA’s Executive Director’s speech to the WHO calls for ‘tearing down’ of barriers to palliative care

Categories: Policy.

The African Palliative Care Association’s Executive Director, Dr Emmanuel Luyirika, has made an impassioned speech to the WHO’s Executive Board. In his speech Dr Luyirika welcomed the ‘momentous’ occasion which saw ‘the first time in the history of WHO’s Executive Board that palliative care is on the board’s agenda as a stand-alone item’.

In his speech Dr Luyirika went onto say:

Although palliative care services can be implemented at relatively low cost, less than 10% of need is currently being met. The barriers to palliative care are well known: A lack of access to essential medicines for severe pain and other symptoms; a lack of education at all levels of professional training; a lack of resources to implement palliative care and lack of policies that integrate it into national healthcare systems.

As an African physician who has travelled all over the sub-continent, I have seen up close how many people with chronic illnesses suffer unnecessarily from pain and other symptoms that could easily be relieved. The secretariat’s report, this discussion and the draft resolution that has been developed under Panama’s leadership, provide a unique opportunity to tear down these barriers and put an end to this unnecessary suffering.’

Read the whole story on the adoption of the palliative care resolution on the International edition of ehospice – WHO Executive Board adopts resolution on palliative care

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