Easing the Pain

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This report offers a snapshot of the work of the International Palliative Care Initiative of the Open Society Public Health Program. For the past decade, the Open Society Foundations has worked with countless partners and advocates in nearly ever corner of the world to relieve the suffering of millions of people.

Easing the Pain aims to inspire other donors, government leaders, and potential partners and advocates to support innovative palliative care programs and leaders throughout the world.

The need for palliative care is great and growing. Fifty-eight million people die annually—45 million in developing countries. Of these it is estimated that at least 60 percent, or 35 million, will have a prolonged advanced illness before dying and would benefit from palliative care.

In the developing world, where preventive medicine and good medical care are scarce, two illnesses account for the lion's share of pain and mortality among both adults and children: cancer and AIDS. Usually diagnosed too late for meaningful curative treatment, palliative care is the humane, affordable answer.