LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Palliative Care Association of Malawi (PACAM) on Monday asked government through Ministry of Health (MoH) to recruit special health workers on palliative care integration for quality services.

The association says recruitment of health workers will enable the authority to monitor palliative care integration up-scaling.

The calls comes ahead of this year’s World Hospice and palliative care day slated for Salima on November 17, 2017.

Under the theme, “Universal health coverage and palliative care; don’t live those suffering behind”, this years celebration focuses on advocating for recognition of palliative care as an important component of universal health package and increasing availability and affordability of care for all people in need and their families.

Addressing the news conference in the capital Lilongwe, Lameck Thambo, PACAM Executive Director said government should prioritize the palliative care as along sector.

Thambo observed that Malawi has made progress on palliative integration saying the program is being scaled down in district hospitals from central public health facilities.

He therefore said without recruitment of specialized workers the progress made on palliative care integration will be derailed.

“As we are going to celebrate this year’s World Hospice day, we want government to have special health workers on palliative for better monitoring of quality services offer. Some one has to be accountable and responsible for those patients with those on chronic diseases.

“Currently, Ntcheu District Hospital is the only public health facility with full specialists on palliative care. We want this arrangement be scaled to all health facilities palliative care is provided,” said Thambo.

Immaculate Kambiya, National Palliative Care Coordinator in the Ministry of Health (MoH) lauded the association on the role is propelling in addressing issues affecting those chronically ill.

Kambiya assured the public that efforts are being made upscale palliative care integration to the remotest and hard to reach areas.

Palliative care focuses on improving the quality of life of people faced with incurable, life-limiting illnesses including HIV and AIDS, cancer and other chronic conditions through relieving pain, preventing suffering and supporting the best possible quality of life for both adults and children.

This year Malawi is also celebrating 15 years of providing palliative care services through 85 sites across the nation.

World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one percent of the total population are in need of palliative care.

Globally however only 14% of people who need palliative care are able to access it.

Malawi is among the 20 countries in the world that has made strides in integrating care into public health facilities, CHAM and private facilities.

Currently, 32% of the 174,000 people who need palliative care are able to access the services in the country.