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New International Alliance Launched to Address Urgent Needs of Palliative Care Patients Worldwide
Date:5/5/2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today marks the launch of the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA), a new global action network designed to focus exclusively on hospice and palliative care development worldwide.

More than 100 million people and their families worldwide need palliative care and support each year; however, it is estimated that only seven per cent actually receive it. The need for palliative care is often greatest in low and middle income countries where more than 70 percent of all cancer deaths occur and where the HIV burden is the highest.

The WPCA is an alliance of national and regional hospice and palliative care organizations, bringing together people around the world with a shared vision of universal access to quality palliative care. This includes the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization based in Alexandria, Virginia. With more than 34,000 members, NHPCO is the preeminent leadership organization in the U.S. representing hospice and palliative care providers and professionals.

"WPCA will provide a global voice to achieve the goal of universal access to quality palliative care," said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO, who is attending the launch of the WPCA at the 4th Worldwide Summit of National Associations of Hospice and Palliative Care in Vienna, Austria, today.

"Hospice and palliative care is still unavailable to many of those in need, especially in the developing world, with millions of people dying in pain and distress every year," said Dr. Cynthia Goh, co-chair of the WPCA, from the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network. "Only 15 percent of the world's countries have hospice and palliative care that is integrated with general healthcare, so the formation of the WPCA is a tremendously positive step forward in helping to meet an overwhelming need."

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SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
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