You Don’t Have to Live and Die in Pain

By NHPCO, Special for  USDR

Seventy-five percent of the world population does not have adequate access to controlled medications for pain relief. As a result, millions of people suffer from pain which is avoidable and could be managed with proper access to the correct  medications.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and its affiliate Global Partners in Care join organizations and individuals worldwide on Saturday, October 8 for a day of global outreach and awareness. This year the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day theme is “Living and dying in pain: It doesn’t have to  happen.”

The World Day campaign will examine three major barriers for access to pain relief, and provide case studies, advocacy resources, and examples of good practice to help address  these:

  1. Restrictive regulations
  2. Poor education
  3. Economic barriers

“We are all part of a global community that is united by our shared humanity. Compassion and dignity and the need to live fully, even at the end of life, are valued the world over,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of  NHPCO.

“One key message we’re helping people understand is that pain management without significant risk of dependence is possible through education of healthcare workers and patients,” added  Schumacher.

In an NHPCO interview with Dr. Paul Zebadia Mmbando, manager of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania Palliative Care Program, Dr. Mmbando explained that many physicians, especially those who are not trained in palliative care, are still very cautious when it comes to prescribing morphine. “They still call it a drug of substance abuse. It’s something that is rooted in the training that they have had,” he  said.

Hospice and palliative care improves the quality of life of people affected by serious and life-threatening illness by preventing and relieving suffering through pain and symptom control, and emotional, practical and spiritual  support.

The first World Hospice and Palliative Care Day took place in October 2005 with more than 1,100 events taking place in 74 countries. To find out more about this year’s World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, visit

For more information about end-of-life care in the U.S., please visit NHPCO’s Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice website at

SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care  Organization

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