LIFE ASKED DEATH
Developing Palliative Care in Asia - Short Film
More than half of all patients with cancer experience pain. In advanced disease, close to two thirds of patients report pain, about half of whom suffer pain of moderate-to-severe intensity.If cancer pain is not adequately treated, it can have devastating consequences that affect the quality of life of patients and their families. Palliative care improves the lives of patients and their families. Watch ‘Life asked Death’ now and learn how palliative care services can be developed in ALL countries.
LIFE ASKED DEATH – 生命询问死亡
DEVELOPING PALLIATIVE CARE IN ASIA – 在亚洲开展缓和医疗
ABOUT THE FILM
Produced by Moonshine Movies, LIFE ASKED DEATH highlights the scale of pain and suffering that needs to be urgently addressed in Asia, and offers insights into the positive outcomes that can be achieved even in resource-limited countries. The documentary brings viewers to Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka to witness how Lien Collaborative’s specialist volunteers bring palliative care and training to these countries. When international experts and local stakeholders work together to develop palliative care capacity in the government-run health systems, the barriers to pain relief and humane care can be removed.
The short film reveals how palliative care helps to improve the quality of life of patients and uplift their families who are struggling to cope with the suffering and the practical and financial implications of a life-threatening illness. It also uncovers how essential pain medications such as oral morphine can bring relief to patients who are in agony, because of lack of access, awareness and availability of palliative care and pain relief medications. What is urgently needed are policy changes which will allow the integration of palliative care into health systems to provide patients with better care and greater access to pain relief medications.
Myanmar, a country with a population of 54 million people, has made strides in the development of palliative care despite the difficulties it faces. Oral morphine is being made available by the government of Myanmar. Several doctors have enhanced their palliative care skills and knowledge through attending overseas training programs. Major government institutions like Yangon General Hospital, Mandalay General Hospital and the No.2 Military Hospital, which are in the process of building up their palliative care services, will become the teaching centres in palliative care in the future.
According to the Global Atlas of Palliative Care, published jointly by the WHO and the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA), Myanmar suffers from inadequate access and availability of hospice and palliative care. Its palliative care activities are heavily donor dependent and hence unsustainable.
The usage of morphine is generally low with annual average consumption of less than 5mg/capita, well below world average, contrary to the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of oral morphine as the gold standard and essential medication for pain relief that should be available to suffering patients. The scarcity of palliative care and pain relief medicines in Asian countries like Myanmar are compounded by other socio-economic issues such as poverty, high patient load and overcrowding at public hospitals and healthcare facilities.