Cancer Patients In Developing Countries Need Improved Access To Pain Relief, WHO Says On World Cancer Day

The Economist: Outdated drug policies leave millions of Africans in agony
“…In West Africa there are just 52 palliative-care centers such as hospices for about 360m people. Many of these do not have enough drugs. In Senegal the average patient who needs it gets 13mg of morphine a year, compared with 55,704mg in America. Across sub-Saharan Africa nine-tenths of cancer sufferers in moderate or severe pain die without the relief granted by opioids…” (1/31).

Reuters: Cancer patients in poor countries needlessly denied pain relief: WHO
“Cancer patients in developing nations are being denied basic pain relief, often because of excessive fears about opioid abuse, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. … There are 18.1 million new cancer cases in the world every year and one in six deaths — about 9.6 million — are from the disease, the WHO said in a report for World Cancer Day on Feb. 4” (Nebehay, 1/31).

VOA News: Millions of Cancer Patients Suffer Needlessly From Pain
“…Great advances have been made in the treatment of cancer, but measures to relieve the horrific pain experienced by patients lag woefully behind. WHO hopes to remedy this with its new guidance on pain management…” (Schlein, 2/2).

Additional coverage of World Cancer Day is available from Deutsche Welle and Reuters.

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