Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Huge Unmet Need for Palliative Care

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Huge Unmet Need for Palliative Care

Article excerpt

An estimated 40 million people worldwide are in need of palliative care, but fewer than 10% of them (about 3 million) are receiving it, according to a new report that was released last month.

Half of the 40 million people need palliative care at the end of their lives, while the rest need it earlier for mainly chronic conditions, according to the Global Atlas of Palliative Care at the End of Life.

Most palliative care is provided in high-income countries but almost 80% of the global need for palliative care is in low- and middle-income countries.

The report, compiled by WHO in collaboration with the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance, is the first to assess the need for palliative care and to chart the availability of services globally. The new estimates for unmet need are based on WHO global figures from 2011.

While about one third of the people who need palliative care have some form of cancer, most of them have other illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, AIDS, diabetes and other chronic and life threatening illnesses. …

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