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Providing Palliative and Respite Care

In Nepal, only 1.7% of families needing palliative care have access to it.

In rural parts of resource-poor countries, where healthcare is inaccessible, cancer diagnoses are often made late, when the cancer is well advanced, or not at all, making each case devastating. The cost of travelling for tests and often futile treatment can add up to a crippling debt for families. EMMS International has established itself as an expert in palliative care. It has seen specialist services developed, improved access to essential medicines, established degree-level training programmes and worked with governments to ensure palliative care is a recognised healthcare priority.


The quality and effectiveness of this work has been recognised by the UK government, who are currently funding their third partnership with EMMS International to improve palliative care.


This is a priority across EMMS International’s work and we’re currently:

  • Extending palliative care services in rural Nepal to bring quality care closer to home. This eases the burden of care which can all too often force girls out of school.

  • Continuing to integrate palliative care into Malawi’s healthcare services through training and mentoring.

  • Providing respite breaks for people in Edinburgh with life-limiting illnesses in a newly redeveloped holidayhome - helping them make lasting memories with their loved ones.


Your support means care doesn’t stop when there isn’t a cure.

What is Palliative Care?

Suntali's Life Matters

Suntali was a homeless widow with two small children when she became a patient at Green Pastures Hospital, Nepal. Whilst being treated for leprosy, she was diagnosed with malignant skin cancer. In addition to the excruciating pain, the emotional pain of being homeless and fearing for the safety of her children left Suntali hopeless. She believed that her life did not matter.

Thankfully, hope came to Suntali in the form of the amazing person-centred care. Suntali now has hope for the future. Her children are happy in a nearby Christian Children's home and are receiving an education. Suntali is in remission. Although she still manages significant symptoms, Suntali has now started training to be a tailor in order to provide for her family in the future.

However, there are thousands of people like Suntali currently living in rural Nepal with no such care available to them. It is hard to imagine being so vulnerable and desperate.

Building Palliative Care Services in Rural Nepal

The completion of the Centre of Excellence is a wonderful opportunity to expand rural palliative care in western Nepal. Having quality care at or close to home stops families having to choose between healthcare for their loved ones and education for the next generation. In November 2020, we launched the Every Girl Matters appeal to support the expansion of rural care and help young girl carers return to school and enjoy the benefits of an education. Donations to the appeal were be doubled by the UK government and the project was launched in April 2022.

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