Update on WHO palliative care spreadsheet

20140124-02The WHO palliative care spreadsheet, dated July 2015 is available on the website for reading. Some of the key facts in palliative care highlighted are

  • Palliative care improves the quality of life of patients and their families who are facing problems associated with life-threatening illness, whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual.
  • Each year, an estimated 40 million people are in need of palliative care, 78% of them people live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Worldwide, only about 14% of people who need palliative care currently receive it.
  • Overly restrictive regulations for morphine and other essential controlled palliative medicines deny access to adequate pain relief and palliative care.
  • Lack of training and awareness of palliative care among health professionals is a major barrier to improving access.
  • The global need for palliative care will continue to grow as a result of the rising burden of noncommunicable diseases and ageing populations.
  • Early palliative care reduces unnecessary hospital admissions and the use of health services.

The Global atlas of palliative care at the end of life, published by the WHPCA and WHO is also available to be downloaded at the website. The purpose of the Atlas is to shine a light on the need for palliative care globally and to provide useful information for those wishing to increase access. This document addresses the following questions:

What is palliative care? Why is palliative care a human rights issue? What are the main diseases requiring palliative care? What is the need for palliative care? What are the barriers to palliative care? Where is palliative care currently available? What are the models of palliative care worldwide? What resources are devoted to palliative care? What is the way forward?