Fundamental developments in palliative care

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Published: 29 Mar 2016
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Dr Mhoira Leng - Makerere University, Uganda, Africa

Dr Mhoira Leng talks to ecancertv at IAPCON 2016 Pune, India.

She discusses the huge changes within palliative care due to the political imperative in India, and the potential to translate new policies from the World Health Assembly (WHO) into better access for palliative care.

Dr Leng philosophises about looking at issues within universal coverage and the WHO resolution for human rights, the prevention of poverty and the acknowledgement of economic issues.



Fundamental developments in palliative care

Dr Mhoira Leng - Makerere University, Uganda, Africa

I’ve been coming to these conferences since ’99 and I’ve seen a huge change in palliative care and particularly now there is a political imperative in India that hasn’t been there before with changes in government policy, with availability of morphine potentially and with programmes coming from government. So what I’ve  been talking about is how do we translate all of this policy from the World Health Assembly, from the Indian level, I also have a lot of experience in sub-Saharan Africa, how do we translate that into better access for palliative care? I think there’s an interesting way we can look at that. So rather than saying how can we make palliative care more available I think we can look at the World Health Assembly resolution, we can look at the issues of universal coverage which say we should have universal coverage for health because it’s a human right, because it prevents people sliding into poverty, because it actually addresses the economic issues. I think we can say not only is palliative care humanely a better option but if we can bring palliative care into our health systems then we can affect issues such as poverty, such as access. So we can bring back into the health system itself the values that we want to see through palliative care. So we’ve been exploring that in the seminars and I was particularly asked to do one presentation on that topic.