World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2013 roundup

Categories: In The Media.

    The 2013 unified day of action aimed to achieve universal coverage of palliative care and dispel the myths and misconceptions surrounding hospices. The world’s media got behind the cause and here is just a selection of the stories that celebrated World Hospice and Palliative Care Day:

    The day saw a call for action in Singapore, as Senior Minister of State for Health, Amy Khor, stated that, “palliative care in Singapore has come a long way. Nonetheless, more needs to be done.”

    It was reported that the number of patients receiving home palliative care has tripled since 2009 and the demand will again double by 2020.

    Much smaller, but still incredibly important announcements were also made, as a hospital in China opened a special bathroom – known as the ‘cosy bathroom’ – to provide a better and more comfortable bathing environment for terminally ill patients.

    The Morung Express publication in India used ‘World Day’ as an opportunity to inform its readers about palliative care, describing the different terminology and what is considered to be a terminal illness.

    And a news agency in Armenia reported that 3,600 people are in need of daily palliative care

    The article discussed the progress of palliative care services in the country and described pilot palliative care centres, which can treat up to 15 people a month. In addition, the National Cancer Centre in Armenia has a palliative care centre, which was able to treat just 57 people in one year.

    Powerful headlines

    ‘World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2013: Palliative care as a human rightwas the headline on Pallimed, a hospice and palliative medicine blog.

    And the Australian edition of ehospice offered an equally powerful message: ‘Urgent action needed to improve access to hospice and palliative care’

    African media too were keen to promote the palliative care message.

    The Malawi news agency Mana Online reported that the palliative care role should be adopted by people across the entire country, as the Palliative Care Association of Malawi joined forces with the Ministry of Health to celebrate the day.

    The Times of Zambia also communicated the government’s involvement, as the southern province Minister, Daniel Munkombwe, said that the government is committed to promoting and integrating palliative care in the health system.

    ‘A world model’

    An Indian publication told the story of the well-established palliative care model in Kerala, which it claims is “now lauded as a ‘world model’ in ensuring better care for terminally ill patients.”

    The Pain and Palliative Care Society (PPCS), which started functioning from a single room at the Medical College Hospital, now has over 12,000 volunteers and the palliative care services “have reached out to over 70% of the needy in the state through more than 1,000 palliative care centres,” the article reports.

    Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, addressed hospice employees, charity providers and volunteers in a written statement on World Hospice and Palliative Care Day and said: “I would like to express my deepest gratitude to them.”

    And finally, events and activities took place across the globe, the annual Kimbilio Hospice Race proving a success with more than 300 athletes taking part in the marathon in Kenya.

    For more information take a look at the World Day website.

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