Palliative Care in Pakistan

The Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) in Lahore, Pakistan held an international symposium in November, 2010 as part of its commitment to advance cancer education and research in Pakistan. Because palliative care is still in its infancy in Pakistan, a day of the symposium was dedicated to palliative care in order to promote its development and to improve access to palliative care for patients in need.

Dr. Stuart Brown, Director of INCTR's PAX Program and Dr. Aziza Shad, President of INCTR USA, attended the symposium and shared their thoughts on ways to advance palliative care in Pakistan. Dr Brown shared the experience related to the development of INCTR's palliative care program in India. He also spoke about INCTR's initiatives to promote and develop palliative care in other countries. Dr Shad gave a presentation about the issues related to opioid availability and how advocacy may help to improve services in Pakistan. Dr Haroon Hafeez spoke on the development of palliative care in SKMCH&RC and shared his views about how to expand services nationwide. The formation of a National Association of Palliative Care was felt to be important by many. Both Drs Shad and Brown offered their support and provided advice about the steps that should be taken to improve access to palliative care in Pakistan.

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