Approximately 58 million people die in the world every year, or more than one million per week. At least 35 million of these people will die of chronic life limiting illnesses and if we include family and carers who need help and assistance in caring, at least 100 million people worldwide would benefit from hospice and palliative care.
Unfortunately, we estimate that less than 8% of those that need hospice and palliative care access it.
Palliative care improves the quality of life of patients and families who are affected by life-limiting illness, by providing pain and symptom relief and spiritual and psychosocial support from diagnosis to the end of life and bereavement. Without hospice and palliative care people living with and affected by life-limiting illness can suffer severe pain and avoidable distress.
Source: World Palliative Care Alliance
Few of us have not had a loved one or a friend who had to face some debilitating and life limiting illness and eventually not just a few of us will face the same situation. It is a situation that impacts the patient and the family in a very large way. Yet in much of the world, the treatment, care and management of patients with terminal illnesses are limited by misconceptions, lack of awareness and lack of accessibility to medicines and professional help.
One common misconception if that palliative care is considered to be very negative, i.e. it is giving up and preparing someone to die. However, it is meant instead to be positive by enabling the patient to live a better quality of life. It is a blessing to both the patient, the care givers and the family.
Hospis Malaysia has been doing a great work in this area for many years but is now having a campaign to raise public awareness about this issue. If you want to know more, visit their photo exhibition at Publika ( from today till next Tuesday) or visit their website http://www.hospismalaysia.org/events/upcoming-events/232-pc-awareness-2014-. Our sister Sharon Yap who is known to many of our church family is one of the people portrayed in the exhibition. She has been a great source of encouragement and blessing to fellow cancer sufferers. Learn more about her and her testimony at the exhibition.
Support Hospis Malaysia’s work with the ill and help them get the message about palliative care out.