Cultural Thoughts on Palliative Care in UAE

Nesreen Al-Alfi*

Cultural Thoughts on Palliative Care in UAE

Palliative care demands urgent attention for many countries, especially the developing ones. As
a matter of fact, according to the World Health Organization, all countries should have
a standing program of palliative care services established by 2020.

It should be a fundamental right of every human-being to live a life free of pain,
and to improve their quality of life in the shadows of chronic debilitating diseases.

Since we discuss about a global emergency, it is important to mention that;
according to the WHO Palliative Care Fact Sheet, July 2015, it was
estimated that around 40 million people required such services each year, but only 14% of those
people were actually receiving it.

This percentage could be higher when targeting countries
that suffer from economic crisis, or deal with situations of political unrest and thereby serve as
a major barrier for establishing and delivering palliative care.

Such barriers were summarized in the WHO fact sheet as: lack of supporting policies,
inadequate opportunities of palliative care educations or training, and finally,
unavailability of essential drugs to eliminate pain and provide palliative care.

These barriers are common to many countries which are struggling
continuously to provide access to palliative care. An additional significant barrier that has been
mentioned is the culture and beliefs of the population concerning death and end-of-life care.

Cultural Thoughts on Palliative Care in UAE

Palliat Med Hosp Care Open J. 2017; SE(1): S51-S55. doi: 10.17140/PMHCOJ-SE-1-111