“An approach that improves the quality of life for patients and their families facing problems associated with life-limiting illnesses, through the prevention and relief of suffering…and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.” World Health Organisation (WHO, 2002)
Research has shown that more people are being diagnosed with non-communicable diseases and will require quality, evidence-based care that focusses on managing symptoms and providing psychological and spiritual support. This is the core of the palliative care philosophy.
THE NEED FOR PALLIATIVE CARE
Every year, 35 million* people die from chronic life-limiting illnesses. If we include family members and caregivers, the number of people who would beneﬁt from palliative care rises to 100 million*. Of these, less than 8% have access to palliative care. This is due to many factors, including: lack of palliative care policies at national level, lack of trained personnel, lack of funding, and reduced access to medication.
*Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA)