“HIV/AIDS has made medicine understand that if it is only focused on cure and ignores suffering it is not doing its job. It has made the call for what palliative care is all about imperative, and the role of palliative care in fighting HIV/AIDS inevitable. The amount of suffering is simply too great, and the promise of cure, for many, too distant. Palliative care provides an effective model for integrating many aspects of care that are essential in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Obviously the model will be quite different in Windhoek than Washington.”
J. O’Neill – Deputy Coordinator and Medical Director,
Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, US Department of State
To mark World AIDS day we are highlighting a number of important reports which address the burden of AIDS and the availability of palliative care, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
The first report is the 2010 edition of the ‘UNAIDS Report on the global AIDS epidemic’ which provides country by country data on AIDS prevalence and country response.
The second report, from which the above quote is taken, focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa and provides an overview of existing palliative care models from the region. The report took a broad approach, including relevant cultural, epidemiological, practice and research issues. This report, ‘Palliative Care in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Appraisal’, was produced by King’s College London and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and published in 2004.
A further report produced by King’s College London and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund concerns paediatric palliative care in Africa. The report, ‘The Status of Paediatric Palliative Care in Sub-Saharan Africa – An Appraisal’, aims ‘to identify and appraise the evidence for paediatric palliative care in sub-Saharan Africa, in order to identify best practice and effective models of care, and to inform the development of the discipline. This report was published in 2010.
If you have any suggestions for further reading, please share them with us via the comments section.