International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care

International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care

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Promoting Hospice & Palliative Care Worldwide


2006; Volume 7, No 4, April



Main Index:

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Getting the word out

Message from the Chair & Executive Director:
Kathleen M. Foley, MD
Liliana De Lima, MHA

Article of the Month:
Dr. Ripamonti

Memorial Service for:
Dame Cicely

Book Reviews:
Roger Woodruff, MD

Traveling Scholars’ Reports:
Singapore, Cape Town

Regional Reports: Africa,
Latin America, Nigeria,
Seychelles Islands, USA


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Anne Laidlaw

Editor’s Notes:
IAHPC celebrates 10 years of publishing

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Liliana De Lima, MHA

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IAHPC Traveling Scholar’s Reports

Traveled to: Singapore

Dr Prasanth C V
Thiruvananthapuram, India

Clinical Fellowship in Palliative Medicine at Department of Palliative Medicine, National Cancer Centre, Singapore

The International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care and National Cancer Centre in Singapore sponsored me for a three month clinical fellowship in palliative medicine at the National Cancer Centre. After working for a few years as a palliative care physician in a regional Cancer Centre in India , I felt the need to update myself about the state of the art of palliative medicine. The clinical fellowship started in October and ended in December 2005. The training program was needs based and student oriented and did not impose a fixed curriculum on anyone. It also gave me an opportunity to interact with a world renowned palliative care faculty.

Dr Cynthia Goh, the head of Palliative Medicine Department, identified my needs and expectations for the fellowship training and made every effort possible to see that I achieved them. I participated in ward rounds, the consultation service, and in family and multidisciplinary team meetings. Because of this experience, I learned a number of new symptom control strategies.

This fellowship also gave me an opportunity to interact with various community hospice programs in Singapore. I strongly believe that total palliative care can only be effectively achieved if home care is a part of the program. During the clinical fellowship, I was able to spend two weeks with the Hospice Care Association (HCA) which is the main provider of homecare in Singapore. During my rotation with HCA, I learned about the many practical things that can be achieved in a homecare setting. HCA has five homecare teams that serve different parts of Singapore around the clock. I learned a good deal about building and maintaining a huge service and team.

I also had the opportunity to spend a few days with Dr Noreen Chan and her team at Dover Park Hospice which provided me with excellent exposure to an inpatient hospice setting.

The World Hospice Day celebration, conducted by the Singapore Hospice Council, was a memorable event and it was an occasion for me to interact with hospice care providers from throughout Singapore .

During this fellowship program, I also had the opportunity to join a stoma care team and gained new knowledge on this subject. I was also able to observe invasive pain management procedures conducted by the chronic pain service. I am grateful for the interactions that I had with oncologists and other teams in the Singapore General Hospital where the National Cancer Centre provides the inpatient service.

I was also fortunate to spend a few days with Dr Rosalie Shaw at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital , Singapore . I learned from her about communication, handling psycho-social issues in palliative care and symptom control strategies.

Apart from academic matters in palliative medicine, the fellowship broadened my vision of palliative care. The program provided to me the opportunity to share my own experience with my colleagues in the various palliative care services in Singapore .

I would like to thank Liliana De Lima & the International Association of Hospice and Palliative Care; Dr Cynthia Goh & her team at the Dept. of Palliative Medicine, National Cancer Centre, Singapore; Dr M R Rajagopal, Chairman, Pallium India Trust; Dr Rosalie Shaw, Executive Director, Asia Pacific Hospice Network and Dr B Rajan, Director, Regional Cancer Centre, Trivandrum, India for providing the support that made this fellowship possible.


Traveled to: Cape Town

FELLOW: DR. MSEMO B. DIWANI Dr. Msemo Diwani is the director of the PC Program in Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.



IAHPC supported me as a traveling scholar to participate in a palliative care conference in Cape Town (December 1-5, 2005) that had the theme of Body, Mind and Spirit. This was a very important learning forum for me. The visit was also designed for me to meet with Professor Liz Gywther who is my supervisor/mentor in the IAHPC palliative care faculty development program. I was able to learn from her how she conducts palliative care courses at the University of Cape Town . All the aims and expectations of this scholarship were achieved. It was during this visit that I learned more about the palliative medicine distant learning program that UCT is offering under the leadership of Professor Gywther. I applied to this program for 2006/07 academic year. I also applied for a grant. In January 2006, I was informed that I was accepted into the program and was provided with limited funds to cover fees and accommodations when I attend contact workshops. The grant however did not cover my air fare and others expenses. It is here that I again turned to IAHPC for additional support. I thank the IAHPC for awarding me this traveling scholarship.

The Contact Workshop

The contact workshop occurred between 22-24 February. From an organizational point of view, the workshop had two parts. One was lectures which were given mostly by Professor Gywther and Dr. Barnard. The topics included principles of palliative care, ethical issues and pain and symptoms control. The second part was composed of interactive sessions and discussions conducted by the students under supervision of the two lecturers. Most important for me was that I learned how to tackle palliative care issues when developing my lectures. I learned a lot from attending this workshop and I am looking forward to the second workshop in October. Once again, I thank the IAHPC for their support.

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