Iran to set up palliative care centers for cancer patients

February 19, 2018 - 12:11

TEHRAN – Some palliative care centers will be developed in the country in the next [Iranian calendar] year 1397 (March 2018–March 2019) to serve patients who suffer from advanced cancers, said the deputy health minister for nursing.

In a bid to better serve those people with life-limiting illnesses, the Health Ministry has planned to inaugurate centers for palliative care, and the first such centers will be dedicated to patients who have advanced cancers, IRNA quoted Maryam Hazrati as saying on Sunday.

She went on to say that required guidelines have been set out and palliative care training courses have been already developed for nursing students.

There are unfortunately many patients whose illness has considerably advanced and there remain faint hopes – if any – for their full treatment, she highlighted, adding that these individuals go through great pains and their hospitalization will only lead to enormous costs and bed occupancy.

The critical need of these patients is being beside their families during their tough illness period, she highlighted. 

According to the first official report of cancer status in Iran, some 300,000 individuals with cancer live in the country, said deputy health minister Alireza Raeesi based on the data collected in the year 1393.

Some 109,000 individuals are added to this number on a yearly basis and 30,000 cancer patients pass away in the country annually.

WHO defines palliative care as an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial, and spiritual.

Palliative care provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms, affirms life and regards dying as a normal process, intends neither to hasten nor postpone death and integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care.


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