£10 provides fuel for a patient unable to afford traveling to hospital appointments >£40 covers a month’s cost of medication and equipment to care for someone dying >£50 covers a month’s rent for a poor family of up to 6 who are living with someone with a long-term illness >

86% of the world population do not have access to palliative care.

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240,000,000 people are in need of palliative care.

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98% of children needing palliative care live in low/middle-income countries.

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86% of the world population do not have access to palliative care and many are unable to afford it. People therefore often die alone and abandoned by family members who are unable to afford the care needed or give the full time support required due to facing their own levels of poverty and hardship.

Aminah’s Story

Imagine feeling an extreme pain in the back of your head, and not knowing why, not being able to afford a check-up, and not knowing where to go for help. This is what happened to Aminah, a 61 year old widow with 4 children. Vulnerable, visibly underweight, and with a graphic wound on the back of her scalp, Aminah heard about a local palliative care organisation, walked to their office under duress, and was diagnosed with skin cancer. Not only did the organisation then pay for her X-ray treatment, but they also offered her the necessary materials for cleansing her wound every day, provided transport for each of her hospital appointments and continued to make regular check-ups to her home to ensure she was supported. For many in the same situation as Aminah, this original lack of access to healthcare would have been devastating. For her, the presence of this palliative care organisation changed her life.

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Why is Palliative Care so Important?

One of the most difficult things to face in life is to know that you are dying and that you do not have much time left. It is even more difficult if you are suffering in great pain, unable to move or help yourself. This is where palliative care comes in; to support and help people who are at the end of their life by providing care and relief in the most dignifying and manageable way. Palliative care is not about prolonging life, but it is about improving the quality of life left.

The Palliative Care Project In Action

Doctors Worldwide is currently working in Rwanda in collaboration with one of the first community based palliative care organisations in the country. Our work aims to help support the scale up and delivery of palliative care for dying and destitute patients who, without this care, would die a lonely and painful death.

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