By Diederik Lohman
When it comes to end-of-life care and pain treatment, Francophone Africa has a long way to go. But, Senegal is one country working to change this.
A 2012 study found 16 of 22 countries in Francophone Africa have no healthcare providers specializing in palliative care, which focuses on pain treatment and quality of life. Yet, each year about 912,000 people there, including 214,000 children, require palliative care. That number is likely to grow.
In countries with limited resources, where death from malaria or respiratory infections is common, palliative care is often viewed as a luxury. However, our work in Senegal with local partners and the health ministry shows progress can be made.