COVID-19 and Palliative Care Capacity, African Region

Palliative care is included within the universal health coverage goal of the sustainable development goals as an essential health service and is considered a human right.1 The seventy-third World Health Assembly recommended palliative care as a core component within the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response plans of Member States. However, the neglect of palliative care is a well established problem worldwide. Of the roughly 60 million people experiencing serious health-related suffering who would benefit from palliative care in a given year, over 80% live in developing countries where such care is scarce or non-existent.2 Mortality projections from the World Health Organization show an anticipated rapid increase in serious health-related suffering at the end of life in the coming decades.3 Delivering timely, appropriate and effective palliative care is a pressing challenge highlighted by the morbidity and mortality caused by COVID-19.
Afolabi, O. A., Abboah-Offei, M., Namisango, E., Chukwusa, E., Oluyase, A. O., Luyirika, E. B., ... & Nkhoma, K. (2021). COVID-19 and palliative care capacity, African Region. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 99(8), 542.