Historic Astana 2018 Declaration on Universal Health Care includes references to palliative care

Categories: Featured, Leadership, and Policy.

Forty years after the Alma Ata Declaration on Primary Healthcare was released in 1978,  a new Astana 2018 Declaration has been written and approved by ministers of health from around the world.

Dr Katherine Pettus, Advocacy Officer for the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) who is presently attending the Global Conference on Primary Health Care in  in Astana, Kazakhstan, writes, “The Astana 2018 Declaration mentions palliative care twice. This is historic! The Declaration will go to the World Health Assembly for approval in May, and to the United Nations for the 2019 General Assembly Session.”

The Conference is being held at the Palace of Independence and is co hosted by the Government of Kazakhstan, WHO and UNICEF.

Katherine  will be moderating a session on palliative care today, Friday 26 October, with Drs. Eric Krakauer and Sebastien Moine, Dr. Emmanuel Luyirika (APCA) and with Lucy Watts MBE Patient Advocate calling in.

References to palliative care

The Declaration includes the following two references to palliative care:

“Promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative services and palliative care must be accessible to all.” (page 3)

Under the heading ‘Build sustainable primary health care’ the declaration states: “We will prioritize disease prevention and health promotion and will aim to meet all people’s health needs across the life course through comprehensive preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative services and palliative care.” (page 4)

Prof Julia Downing, Chief Executive of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) said that the ICPCN have been involved in the advocacy for this inclusion of palliative care into the Declaration and have ensured that there are representatives of the organisation at the meeting in Astana. In addition, Lucy Watts, ICPCN’s  Global  Youth Ambassador, will be calling in from the UK to speak at the palliative care plenary today.

Fact sheet

A fact sheet developed for the meeting on palliative care by the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA), IAHPC and ICPCN for this meeting can be downloaded from the ICPCN website.