According to the Atlas, Latin America has 922 palliative care services, covering only a fraction of the needs in the region.
Since its start in the eighties, palliative care has developed gradually in Latin America. Currently, there are 922 services in 19 countries or 1.6 services/teams/units per million inhabitants, reflecting the fact that the vast majority of patients with palliative care needs do not have access to treatment. These are some of the data in the Atlas de Cuidados Paliativos en Latinoamerica, developed by the Latin American Association for Palliative Care (ALCP).
This is the first systematic study which presents information on 19 Latin American Countries (Spanish and Portuguese speaking). The study was developed by a working group convened by the ALCP with support from the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) and the Universidad de Navarra (Spain). Members of the working group include Tania Pastrana (principal investigator, Germany), Liliana De Lima (project director, USA), Carlos Centeno (scientific director, Spain), Roberto Wenk (Argentina), Jorge Eisenchlas (Argentina), Carolina Monti (Argentina) and Javier Rocafort (Spain).
The ALCP will present the cartographic edition of the Atlas during the VII Latin American Congress of Palliative Care which is taking place in Medellin (Colombia) this week. The special edition offers in graphic display and maps the summary of the information compiled for the Atlas. The cartographic edition was an initiative led by the research program ATLANTES of the Instituto Cultura y Sociedad (ICS) of the University of Navarra, together with IAHPC and ALCP.
The Project has had the support of several institutions, including the Federación Médica de Buenos Aires (FEMEBA), the Hospital Centro de Cuidados Laguna (Spain) and the Unversity of Aachen (Germany). The Project was funded by the Open Society Foundations (USA) and the Fundacion de Lima Bohmer (Colombia).
Fractured and slow development
The Atlas de Cuidados Paliativos en Latinoamerica indicates that the development of the field in the region has been very slow and fragmented. The number of services/teams/units range from 16.6 per million inhabitants in Costa Rica to 0.2 in Honduras. Chile has the most number of services (277) while 46% of the services in the region are located in Argentina and Chile, which represent 10% of the population in Latin America. This confirms the need that governments should adopt the policies and take the necessary steps to guarantee that the needs of the patients and families are met.
With this project, the ALCP, members of the working group and representatives of collaborating organizations hope to contribute to the advancement and development of palliative care in Latin America.
For additional information about the Latin American Association for Palliative Care and to download the Atlas, visit the Association website.
The cartographic edition of the Atlas is available for free in Google Play and in Apple Store. The application is ics-ATLANTES