The Lancet: Liz Grant - prioritising palliative care and planetary health

23 December, 2019

Below are the citation and selected extracts of a recent Lancet profile of Liz Grant, whom we are honoured to have as a current member of the HIFA Steering Group.

CITATION: Perspectives - profile - volume 394, issue 10213, p1983, november 30, 2019

Liz Grant: prioritising palliative care and planetary health

Rachael Davies


At a rural hospital in Kenya in the late 1990s, Liz Grant saw diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS destroy lives. “Patients were dying in severe pain, chewing paracetamol—there wasn't sufficient morphine…The voice of one woman still lives with me: ‘I want to go to sleep and wake up dead’”, says Grant, who has worked tirelessly ever since to improve access to palliative care in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs)...

"he urgency of addressing the unmet needs of the dying must never remove the need to understand and respond to the diverse cultural, ethical, and spiritual dimensions of caring for those who are dying. Global sharing should lead to locally designed interventions.”...

In 2009, she developed the concept of the Global Health Academy [of the University of Edinburgh], which, she explains, “aims to connect all parts of the university together around global and planetary health”. The Academy is built on three principles that she has always stood by: “we are all born equal but into very unequal circumstances; the answers to the majority of the world's questions are in the world already—we're just not listening to the people who have the answers—and every challenge has multiple components that are cross discipline.”... “The undeniable interconnected relationship of our health and the planet's health highlights that how we work and the way we work and organise ourselves matter at every level, and in every organisation, if we are to address global challenges and develop sustainable ways of living.”


Exploring and addressing information needs on palliative care and planetary health have been identified as two high-priority areas for future HIFA projects, subject to funding.

Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA:

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: