5.5 bln people with limited or no access to pain relief: UN experts

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-10-9 23:05:39

Two UN experts warned on Friday that in many countries palliative care is still non-existent or not even recognized as a medical specialty, with an estimated 5.5 billion people, or three quarters of the world's population, having limited or no access to pain relief treatment.

Speaking ahead of the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, the two UN human rights experts urge states and the international community to prioritize universal and non-discriminatory availability and access to palliative care and pain relief treatment to anyone in need.

The UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Puras, said in a joint statement on Friday that obstacles to accessing palliative care must be identified and tackled.

"Older persons with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness continue to have limited access to medication, due to restrictive drug regulations and the failure to implement a properly functioning supply and distribution system," they noted.

According to them, this is often exacerbated by inadequate health-care system capacity and a lack of training programs that address the specific needs and wishes of older persons.

"In fact, in many countries, palliative care is still non-existent or not recognized as a medical specialty," they said, adding that older persons have the right to live the last years of their lives with dignity and without unnecessary suffering.

The World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, organized by a committee of the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance, takes place the second Saturday of October every year.

Posted in: Fitness

blog comments powered by Disqus