The staggering increase of cancer and AIDS patients seen at advanced stage in Yaounde General Hospital: The only way out is a palliative care structure. (#577)
Aim: The increasing number of palliative care cases from cancer and AIDS patients is now considered to be a public health crisis and there is urgency for a palliative care services to be put in place.
Methods: Interview was conducted, questionnaires were filled and medical records were reviewed for cancer patients who were hospitalized to undergo chemotherapy. HIV/AIDS data was collected during consultations, medical files review at the hospital. Statistics from the NACC, NCCC and cancer registry provided evidence that the number of advanced cases are tripling yearly.
Results: There is a significant increase in the number of cancer and AIDS patients who are in their advanced stages of their illness and are in need of palliative care services. With 15000 new cancer cases diagnosed yearly, 70% of these cases present at advanced stage. One million infected cases in Cameron, 39% of these cases are in the advanced stage and about 19% at the End of Life stage. One research indicates that each year close to 220.000 cancer and AIDS patients are in need of palliative care services in Cameroon. Approximately 70% of these cases are abandoned to their families who will in long run be abandoned to themselves to die painfully in shame and distress.
Conclusion: The investigation brought to light and awareness the actual number of cancer and AIDS patients who are in dying need of a structured palliative care service in the community or in a hospital setting. It is a crisis for the families, health professional and the government.