St. Luke's Holds Course on 'Palliative Care'

Article excerpt

Consider the following facts: More than 50 million people around the world die each year. Among these deaths, 80 percent occur in developing countries. Intense and unnecessary suffering and pain is a reality these people have endured and so will future generations if nothing is done to alleviate their condition. Yet another fact is that two-thirds of people with cancer live in developing countries and barely have any access to pain and symptom management. Indeed these are issues that have to be addressed and this is where palliative care comes in.

Palliative care is designed by the World Health Organization (WHO), as an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment. This includes treatment of pain and other problems, physical, phychosocial and spiritual.

A multidisciplinary team comprised of a palliative care medical consultant, specialist nurse, social worker, pastoral caregiver, occupational, physical and music therapist, and psychologists and counselors helps deliver holistic, active care to patients and their family members when cure is no longer possible. …