Message from the Chair and Executive Director
Welcome to the last issue of this year's Newsletter.
By the end of this year, six of our Board members will be completing their terms. They are: James Cleary (USA); Stein Kaasa (Norway); M.R. Rajagopal (India); Carla Ripamonti (Italy); Pesach Shvartzman (Israel); and Florian Strasser (Switzerland). Please join us in thanking each of them for their contributions to IAHPC and their efforts to help the organization achieve its mission. It has been an honor for us to have worked with them as members of the Board.
We recently sent an announcement for IAHPC members to nominate candidates to these positions. We seek candidates who wish to join our board and work with us to advance palliative care in the world. Below is a copy of the announcement with the information and criteria necessary to apply. The deadline to submit a nomination is December 15, 2011. Newly elected members will be announced in early January 2011.
As the year ends, we are proud of the things we have achieved through our programs and projects and of the support we were able to provide to developing countries in order to accomplish our mission. Some of our activities aim to improve the care of patients and families around the world, they include:
- An IAHPC membership fee schedule based on the Gross National Income of the country where the applicant lives. The schedule starts at $10 per year for individuals living in countries classified as Low by the United Nations.
- Access for IAHPC members to the CINAHL database, which includes thousands of citations, full length articles and online journals, including the following palliative care journals:
- Indian Journal of Palliative Care
- International Journal of Palliative Nursing
- Internet Journal of Pain, Symptom Control & Palliative Care
- Journal of Palliative Medicine
- Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy.
- Palliative Medicine
- Progress in Palliative Care
- IAHPC Opioid Essential Prescription Package (OEPP): The aim of this study was to determine by consensus the components of an OEPP to be used when initiating an opioid prescription for the control of moderate to severe chronic pain. Sixty palliative care physicians were sampled from the IAHPC membership list from a range of countries of varying economic levels and diverse geographical regions. Using a Delphi study method, physicians were asked to rank their preference of a drug and dosing schedule for a first line opioid, antiemetic and laxative medication. The OEPP has been published and is now available in an Open Access mode in: http://cl.exct.net/?qs=6d889d03e282742055597de69b54412f42e66930d3b810dc9a5e242d6ca2cbe1
- IAHPC List of Essential Practices in Palliative Care: The objective of this project was to identify, through a consensus process, the essential practices in palliative care which could be provided by physicians, nurses and nurse aides working in primary care that are applicable in all socioeconomic settings. A three phase study was designed and implemented over two and a half years. The phases included the development of a baseline list and a Delphi process which included participants from more than 60 countries and the participation of representatives from 45 palliative care organizations. The published manuscript will be available in early 2012.
- Traveling Scholarships: Eighty-three traveling scholarships were awarded to individuals from 44 countries during 2011. Through this program IAHPC provided financial support to palliative care leaders from developing countries to attend an international palliative care congress, course, seminar or training session.
- The development and implementation of the IAHPC – Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund (DPWMF) bursaries for Africa, to build, improve, and advance palliative care in sub-Saharan Africa. This program was possible through a grant from the DPWMF. Through this program we have been able to provide over $173,000 in bursaries to support formal palliative care degrees and training in research to 23 palliative care workers in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Traveling Fellowships: Five traveling fellowshipswereawarded to individuals to teach palliative care in developing countries including Vietnam, Sudan, India and South Africa. Through this program IAHPC provides financial assistance to support the travel of faculty.
- Opioid Availability Strategy: A strategy to improve access to opioid analgesics for medical needs in Latin America through workshops in Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) and Chile. Some countries have made significant progress in improving access to opioids since these workshops.
We designated October as Members’ Recognition Month to build awareness and understanding of the vital function that our members play in the advancement of our mission as well as to give recognition to our members for their support. Two iPads were awarded in the following categories:
- Recognizing Loyalty: to maintain the loyalty of members by giving a prize to a selected individual or institution who keeps an IAHPC membership active for at least two consecutive years. Ms Sheilla Faria, nutritionist from the Cancer Institute at Sao Paulo, Brazil was randomly selected from a list of loyal members.
- Increasing Membership: to increase the number of members by giving a prize to the individual who recruits the highest number of new or renewed members during October. The winner of this prize was Dr. Frank Manase, medical director of PASADA in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania for bringing ten new members during the month.
Congratulations to Ms Faria and Dr. Manase for winning these prizes! This edition of the Newsletter includes a brief note from each. We look forward to the next Members’ month in October 2012 when new winners will be selected.
We could not have achieved all the above without the generous support of our board of directors, our members, donors, foundations and organizations. We are especially grateful with the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, the Open Society Foundations and the US Cancer Pain Relief Committee for their support.
All our donors and supporters believe in IAHPC’s mission and in our goal to have an impact on the promotion and development of palliative care. Our ability to continue to help others depends heavily on the support we receive from everyone, so please consider donating to IAHPC. You can donate through our website at https://www.hospicecare.com/give/donate.html . IAHPC is a registered US Charity.
We face many challenges in the near future, especially in light of the current global economic situation. We are aware that we face financial constraints and have prepared ourselves to meet these challenges. Our strong commitment to support the development of palliative care around the world will continue to be our driving force. We wish to thank all of you who make our work worthwhile - the patients and their families, the health care workers, and the volunteers who dedicate and give so much to palliative care.
Best wishes to all including your friends and family members during the coming holidays and we hope that next year will be a happy and successful one.
Roberto Wenk, MD
Chair, Board of Directors
Liliana De Lima, MHA
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