On 5 October, the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) launched the report ‘Integrating palliative care for older adults’ in Doha, Qatar.
The report was written in collaboration with ADI, The Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA), SANAD Hospice Lebanon and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), and seeks to provide a comprehensive picture around palliative care.
Paola, who is speaking on healthy ageing at WISH, as well as attending the launch of the report, has called on governments around the world to act immediately.
“It is totally shocking that 88% of people around the world who are dying, could be missing out on palliative care. Access to palliative care should be recognised as a human right. We are calling on governments around the world to take note and act now before it is too late.”
“Unfortunately, this report highlights what we have known for some time: post-diagnostic support, including palliative care, is not available to those living with dementia or is woefully inadequate. Our recent World Alzheimer Report 2022 has recently found that up to 85% of those living with dementia are not receiving the post-diagnostic support they so desperately need.”
Enough is enough. Governments have the evidence they need; now it is time for them to take note and act.
The WISH report recommends improvements in five areas: Service provision, advocacy and awareness raising, adopting a social approach to death through caregivers, families and communities; education in specialist palliative care and developing strategic policy to underpin palliative care.
“These five strategic recommendations align themselves with the Global action plan on the public health response to dementia, unanimously adopted by all member states of WHO in 2017.“
“National dementia plans encompassing all seven action areas of the Global action plan continue to be the most robust way to support those living with dementia and their carers, as well as wider society. At the end of the day, it is the basic right of those living with dementia and carers to be able to access the treatment care and support that they need and deserve.”
While dementia isn’t a part of normal ageing, age is the greatest risk factor for developing the condition. Dementia currently affects over 55 million people worldwide and is set to increase to 139 million by 2050. It is the 7th leading cause of death worldwide and in some countries, the leading cause.
Worryingly, emerging data suggests that the MENA region will experience the greatest increases in prevalence globally, with countries such as Qatar expected to see around a 2000% increase by 2050, further signifying the need to improve palliative care services in the region.