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14.11.2009 Social News

Palliative care is human right for terminally ill

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Palliative care is human right for terminally ill
November 13, 2009
Unfortunately this is absent from the health agendas of most countries especially in Africa, speakers at the Seventh African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) in Dar es Salaam observed on Thursday.

Its main purpose is to relieve suffering, whether physical, spiritual or emotional, and to promote quality of life.

They therefore challenged African countries to make it a health priority, especially with the emergence of cancer as a major health problem in middle and low income countries, where 70 per cent all cancer deaths are expected to occur.

Over 700 delegates from Anglophone and Francophone countries in Africa are attending the conference.

The conference would also highlight the important roles of advocacy, prevention including tobacco control, supportive care and palliative care in the fight against the pandemic.

He called for awareness raising, advocacy strategies and funds to sustain PC activities, saying that, Cote d'Ivoire had had a policy on PC since 2005 through the HIV and AIDS Control Programme, and had given hope to the terminally ill because they now had access to PC through community and home-based care.

In an Interview with the Ghana News Agency, Ms Martha Adjapong, a PC nurse of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, said a survey she authored in Ghana revealed that PC was not necessarily dependent on the existence of specialist care services, but rather implies the mobilization of services and recognition of priorities within a healthcare system.

PC, she said, had been incorporated in the curriculum of the nurses training institutions and that the association was having workshops to help put in place a draft policy document for Ghana to improve the quality care and bring comfort to those in pain.

From: Audrey Dekalu, GNA Special Correspondent, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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