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University Lecturer Campaigning for Global Dedication to Palliative Care

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A University of Worcester lecturer and expert on palliative care has added his support to a movement calling on the United Nations (UN) to include end-of-life care in its new Sustainable Development Goals for 2015-2030.

Dr Brian Nyatanga, Senior Lecturer in the University’s Institute of Health and Society and one of the key figures in the establishment of the institution’s Centre for Palliative Care, addressed the 20th International Congress on Palliative Care in Montreal, Canada, last month.

During the conference, the international delegates formed the Montreal Declaration on Hospice and Palliative Care, which calls on the UN to recognise that hospice and palliative care is an essential component of national health systems.

The aim of the declaration is to ensure that palliative care is included in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals plan, alongside strategies on issues such as poverty, child mortality, sexual abuse and HIV/Aids.

Dr Nyatanga explains: “The conference coincided with marking 40 years of delivering palliative care in Montreal, and welcomed well over 2500 delegates.

“Different and innovative ways of delivering end of life care were discussed, and there were a series of inspiring, thought-provoking and challenging presentations. There was, however, surprise among delegates that palliative care has not been included in the UN’s Sustainable Development programme, and this has led to the Montreal Declaration being circulated.”

Dr Nyatanga has already added his signature to the declaration, and is urging others to follow suit to ensure that the issue of palliative care is recognised on a global platform.

“It was a privilege to present the paper at the congress, and to showcase the work that the University of Worcester is doing in this area.

“It is estimated that, worldwide, around 20 million people need end-of-life palliative care services each year, and that around 80 per cent of those people live in low and middle income countries.

“Palliative care is a huge issue, and it is one that we are urging the UN to recognise.”

For more information on the Montreal Declaration, visithttp://www.palliativecare.ca/en/home/montreal_declaration.html.