Our members are a really important part of our ‘global hospice family’, as you will see from the following article that highlights how useful some of our membership resources are. Please take full advantage of the many great benefits that membership offers by visiting the membership section of our website. And to those who are not yet members, do please consider joining us!
Some years ago, 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, and to formally acknowledge their support to IAHPC. Each year we give two prizes to members in the categories ‘Loyalty Recognition’, for consecutive IAHPC membership since 2000, and ‘Increasing membership’ for bringing the highest number of new or renewed members.
Kathleen Introna is a volunteer palliative care nurse in Thailand. Here, she explains her journey into palliative care and just how far it’s taken her.
I came into palliative care by accident in 1992 when I returned from working overseas to find nursing jobs hard to come by in Australia. I applied to work as a palliative care nurse having very little understanding of what palliative care was. Fortunately, the palliative care unit didn’t give me the job, but they did recommend me to enroll in their one-year Palliative Care course – which I did, and I found my niche.
I went on to complete a Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care at the Australian Catholic University, a Master’s in Primary Health Care (Palliative Care) through Flinders University, South Australia, and then worked for 14 years as a Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Consultant. For the past 10 years, however, I have lived and worked in Thailand as a volunteer nurse at an orphanage for poor children and those living with HIV/AIDS.
For the past five years I have helped at Kanrunrak Palliative Care Centre in Khon Kaen, Thailand, to develop palliative care in their hospital-based team. Thailand has very few well developed palliative care services so I became a regular speaker at their Basic Certificate Course in Palliative Nursing and a nursing mentor for the palliative care nurses at Karunrak, none of whom had any previous experience working in palliative care.
The work of IAHPC has helped me keep up to date clinically and to disseminate palliative care information in a country where palliative care is just beginning to develop. It is both exciting and challenging to be part of the push to educate healthcare workers about palliative care and to improve the quality of life of many patients who would not before have had access to optimal pain or symptom management at the end of their lives.
Dr. Faraja C. Kiwanga is a senior medical officer at Ocean Road Cancer Institute, the United Republic of Tanzania. Here, she explains how her membership of IAHPC is an important part of her professional development.
I am a third year resident studying for a Master of Medicine in Clinical Oncology at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS). I have more than six years’ experience working in the field of oncology as a senior medical officer at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) and a palliative care health provider.
Throughout my career, my focus has been on attending new and follow-up cancer patients, by participating in the planning process for their chemo-radiation sessions, and providing palliative care to cancer patients.
I have been a member of the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care since 2012. Since then my career in palliative care has never been the same. Through IAHPC, I have unlimited access (and downloads) to full text articles from the different journals, such as the Journal of Palliative Medicine. This, together with themonthly newsletter, helps me to update my knowledge in palliative care.
I thank God for His grace that this year I was among the IAHPC Travel Scholarship grantees and this allowed me to attend the 5th International African Palliative Care conference. Hosted by the African Palliative Care Association (APCA) and Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA), the conference was held at Speke Resort, Munyonyo, Kampala, Uganda, from 16 to 19 August 2016 with the theme Differentiated care for diverse communities. This was a good forum for networking and I have gained more knowledge that will help me to integrate palliative care into the health system, as well as improving the quality of care services by making it available at all levels.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the IAHPC team for this special award.
Editor’s note: Kathleen and Faraja each win an IAHPC Traveling Scholarship of two thousand US dollars, and one year’s membership.
Read the list of individuals who joined/renewed their membership with IAHPC during the past month.
|Asociacion Cuidados Paliativos Colombia-ASOCUPAC||Colombia|
|Marija Inesa Poniskaitiene||Lithuania|
|Anne Morgan||New Zealand|
|Freddy Houehanou Rodrigue Gnangnon||Senegal|
|Hospice Tororo Douglas Turner||Uganda|
|Hanan Saca-hazbound||West Bank and Gaza|
|John Lee||Cayman Islands|
|Rowena Fatima Galarpe||Philippines|
|Andres De Lima||Colombia|