The World Health Assembly at Geneva adopted a resolution on 23 May 2014 – a resolution that has the potential to change the lives of every single human being around the world. It affects all of us and our loved ones because most of us at some time of our lives will have a health situation that will necessitate palliative care – a time of intense suffering that most people find themselves ill-prepared to cope with.
This landmark resolution urges all countries to develop, fund and implement appropriate palliative care policies, to include palliative care as an integral component of education, to assess palliative care needs including the need for essential medicines and to overcome legislative barriers to access to opioids. It also requests the Director-General of WHO to ensure that palliative care is an integral component of all relevant global disease control and health systems plans.
This is the result of many years of advocacy and sustained efforts of many palliative care organizations around the world. We are glad that Pallium India has contributed to this effort in its humble way, the latest being the work with the Government of India to ensure its support and generally contributing to International advocacy. We are glad to report that even on the 21st of May, at a side event at the World Health Assembly in Geneva to support passing of the resolution, Pallium India’s academic consultant Dr Nandini Vallath was one of the speakers and that Dr Jagdish Prasad, the Director-General of Health Services of India, contributed to the discussion, affirming Indian Government’s support to palliative care.