The Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance
I am Dr. Stephen Connor from the WHPCA and have the honour of working with Kulsum Akter who is a female community palliative care worker and community member of the Korail slum, Bangladesh.
In 2015, she started work as a Palliative Care Assistant. At first, she told us, she was a little scared about how to take care of large wounds of seriously ill patients and how to communicate with patients and their families. After completing 6 months training from Centre for Palliative Care her fear went and now she can give good care. She told me 'When we go to the patients home, at first we usually listen to their physical sufferings and we provide care. Along with that we also try to find out other mental and social sufferings of patients and their families and guide them accordingly. I provide care to the elderly patients by thinking that they are like my own family. Now, community people ask for help from us when they see any sick people within the community. But I feel insecure what will happen once the international funds stop coming. What will happen to the community of korail and also to my job? ' The WHPCA started community based palliative care at Korail slum with the centre of palliative care but to provide care to the thousands of people who need it, we need the government to train, support and integrate community health workers in palliative care.
The WHPCA believes that community health workers are crucial to achieve access to palliative care as part of UHC. We call on WHO and member states to ensure community health workers are trained in palliative care, that they are integrated into primary health care systems and that their input is budgeted for.”