Drugs in Africa: A lot of pain
Africans need more morphine
GERARD was five years old when he died this year of AIDS. He lived in a slum in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, and was nursed by his mother. “I could tell he was in a lot of pain,” she says. Yet Gerard received no relief except for ibuprofen, a mild painkiller.
The International Narcotics Control Board, a UN body that oversees controlled drugs, says 90% of the world’s morphine is administered in rich countries. By contrast, morphine and other painkillers such as pethidine and dihydrocodeine are hard to find in state systems in poor countries. So Africans with AIDS, cancer, sickle-cell disease, victims of car crashes, gunshot and machete wounds, and women in labour, suffer severe pain without relief.
Kenya is ahead of many African countries in palliative care, with its own hospice movement, but only seven of its 250 hospitals have ready access to morphine. Even when it is in stock, the annual supply is limited to some 1,500 patients. Yet 180,000 Kenyans die each year of AIDS and cancer alone. A 75mg daily dose of morphine would make all the difference.
World Health Assembly (WHA) exhorts all countries to include palliative care in National Covid Response
The World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of WHO, in their annual meeting on 18 and 19 May 2020, committed governments to deliver palliative [...]
Covid-19 & Critical Care: Ethical Dilemmas
With rising numbers of people getting COVID 19 and many dying from them, we could face the situation that Italy did – of not having [...]
The 2014 WHA Resolution and Palliative Care in India
Revd Dr Hamilton Inbadas, Honorary Research Fellow, Glasgow End of Life Studies Group, University of Glasgow, writes: As part of the Glasgow End of Life [...]