Published on: November 26, 2020

Please see an important document from World Health Organization (WHO) titled “WHO package of essential noncommunicable (PEN) disease interventions for primary health care“.

For anyone new to palliative care who is reading it, we want to add a word of clarification. In section 2.7, ‘Practice Points for Palliative Care‘, we hope the statement “Provide care in the last weeks/days of life” does not mislead anyone that palliative is confined to the last weeks or days of life.

It only means that towards the end of life, palliative care becomes particularly important. It is definitely not to say that palliative care is only for end of life. In fact, the WHO definition of 2002 adds a bulleted footnote to it, that palliative care must start at the time of diagnosis. Moreover, the World Health Assembly resolution of 2014 has emphasised that palliative care should be given across the continuum of care: that is, from the beginning of the health issue to the end.

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