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Indian J Palliat Care. 2019 Oct-Dec;25(4):587-591. doi: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_51_19.

Current Asbestos Exposure and Future Need for Palliative Care in India.

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Centre for Public Health, School of Health Systems Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Vikas Anvesh Foundation, Pune, Maharashtra, India.


Asbestos-related diseases (ARDs) are incurable but entirely preventable. Due to India's continuing use of asbestos, ARD patients will increase to a high number in the next three to four decades. This will increase the burden on palliative care system which is in nascent stage presently. Palliative care is the mainstay of the management of ARDs. Unfortunately, the burden on palliative care is likely to increase due to multiple factors contributed by India's demographic and economic changes. In the near future, there will be at least 12.5 million ARD patients and 1.25 million asbestos-related cancer patients worldwide, and half of these will be in India. It is high time to introspect about our ability to engage with this future problem. The paper also discusses the organization of this future problem of ARDs and possible action points toward future access to palliative care for ARD patients.


Asbestos; cancers; palliative care; pneumoconiosis; public health system

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