Dear Venus Mushininga and friends at HIFA,
The exchange on morphine and palliative care is important. Especially in the US, but in other places as well, the greed of the pharmaceutical companies has created an opiate/addiction crisis which results in reducing the ability of people to get the pain management medicines they need instead of changing the for-profit medical system, of which the big drug companies are the most visible part. Venus is correct in saying that access to pain medicine is a human right which our for-profit medical systems are denying.
In our book HELPING CHILDREN LIVE WITH HIV, there is a very useful chapter "Helping Children with Pain" that presents ideas for people of all ages on non-medicinal comfort care, joint use of ibuprofen and paracetamol (acetaminophen), and how to determine and give safe and effective doses of morphine. As with all Hesperian materials, it is useful for people with or without extensive medical training, well-illustrated, and available free online here:
Many advisors helped us write this chapter, especially Dr. Emmanuel Luyirika of the African Palliative Care Association. It is currently available only in English. Please contact me if you are interested in helping to produce this material in other languages. At Hesperian, we don't only talk about making Health Information for All, we do it!
Best, Todd Jailer, Managing Editor, Hesperian
Todd Jailer, Managing Editor
Hesperian Health Guides
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HIFA profile: Todd Jailer is Managing Editor of Hesperian Health Guides, USA. todd AT hesperian.org