World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world. It takes place on the second Saturday in October each year.
This year, World Hospice and Palliative Care Day will take place on Saturday 8 October.
The theme tackles the critical issue of access to essential medicines for pain management and palliative care worldwide, and resonates with the advocacy work being done in the lead up to – and beyond – the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem.
According to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), 75% of the world’s population (5.5 billion people) does not have adequate access to controlled medications for pain relief.
As a result, millions of people suffer from pain which is avoidable and could be managed with proper access to the correct medications.
Various barriers prevent people in need from accessing these essential medications. This year’s World Hospice and Palliative Care Day campaign will focus on three major barriers for access to pain relief:
- overly restrictive national regulations
- poor education of healthcare providers in relation to opioid medications; and
- economic barriers to availability of these medications.
Between the launch of the theme and World Hospice and Palliative Care Day itself, the WHPCA will provide case studies, advocacy resources, and examples of good practice to help you address these issues in your country and region.
Dr Stephen Connor, WHPCA Executive Director, said: “Lack of access to opioids and other strong analgesics for those with life threatening illness worldwide is a global crisis! WHPCA estimates at least 18 million people are dying each year in avoidable pain. This is not acceptable. Hospice and palliative care professionals must raise their voices to make sure every country makes these medicines accessible, available and affordable”