2019 Advocacy Initiatives

Advocacy skill building for IAHPC Members

Advocacy course "Advocating for Palliative Care in the Multilateral System" (Basic).

Access to the Advocacy course

IAHPC Advocacy Presentation for Malaysia Hospice Foundation Workshop, November 7, 2019

Palliative Care Advocacy International, regional, local
Recording of Presentation

London School of Economics Event on The Opioid Crisis, October 22, 2019

Triplets: Three Opioid Crises, One Dysfunctional Parent, The "War on Drugs"

Commission on Narcotic Drugs Intersessional, October 18

IAHPC presentation on the two opioid crises: slides and narrative.

Links for October Newsletter

Dr. Anne Merriman Letter to Dr. Simao
Dr María Teresa García-Baquero Merino Report from RC69

High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage September 23, United Nations

IAHPC Oral statement by Dr. Ebtesam Ahmed

WHO Europe Regional Committee 69 Meeting

IAHPC Written Submission, endorsed by seven global health organizations
IAHPC Oral Statement by Dr. Maria Teresa Baquero Merino

IAHPC GAP Response

Commission on Narcotic Drugs Intersessional June 2019 IAHPC Progress Report

United Nations High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage

Suggested IAHPC/WHPCA text for negotiations on UHC zero draft

Submission by Latin American Association for Palliative Care to Special Rapporteur for Health on Medical Education

EAPC Congress Berlin 2019 Staff and Board Presentations

The Right to Palliative Care in Prison: Normative, legal, and ethical framework
Presentation of Board Member Steven Radwany: What We See Is What You Get (We Hope): CBME Progress in Postgraduate Hospice and Palliative Medicine Education in the USA, GEriatric Trauma and Palliative Care (GET PC): Predictors of Consultation
Integration of Palliative Medicine Education. An example from Latin America

72nd World Health Assembly

WHA72 Agenda and Documents English
WHA72 Agenda and Documents Spanish
WHA72 IAHPC Advocacy Note (English)
WHA 72 Advocacy Note (Spanish, translated by Dr. Tania Pastrana ALCP)
Side Event on Palliative Care Tuesday May 21
Programme Palliative Care SIde Event WHA72
IAHPC Intervention WHA72 Access to Medicines
IAHPC Intervention WHA72 Emergencies
IAHPC Intervention WHA72 Primary Healthcare
IAHPC Intervention WHA72 Falsified Medicines
IAHPC Intervention WHA72 Women's, Children's Adolescent Health
Report from UCLA Global Health Students on IAHPC Delegation to WHA72

Interactive multistakeholder Meeting at UN to prepare for High Level Meeting statement of IAHPC by Dr Ebtesam Ahmed

Statement UHC2030

IAHPC Side Event 10th Open Ended Working Group on Ageing, New York, April 15-17, 2019

This is a call for substantive inputs, in the form of normative content for the development of a possible international standard on the protection of the rights of older people to “Autonomy and Independence” and “Long-term and Palliative Care”, the two focus areas of the previous 9th session of the Working Group. Please refer to "guiding questions" on each of the focus areas. Inputs should be in English and of no more than 800 words per focus area. IAHPC will prepare a statement and circulate. Let me know if you are interested in submitting.

IAHPC Submission to OEWGA10 regarding Normative Components of Right to Palliative Care in Binding Convention on Rights of Older Persons
Guiding Questions (Normative)- Autonomy and Independence
Guiding Questions (Normative) - Long-term and Palliative Care
Normative Elements of a Right to Palliative Care for Older Persons

Recording of IAHPC Side Event on Normative Elements of a Right to Palliative Care for Older Persons

Power point presentation Dr. Simone Cernesi, Grupo Giotto, Modena, Italy
Power point presentation Ms. Karin Mansell, Organization of American States (19 de abril)
Power point presentation Mr. Marvin Mutch, Humane Prison Project
Power point presentation Dr. Sheila Payne, PACE Program and Lancaster University
Rose Gahire Intervention in Plenary, Day 4, Palliative Care Association of Rwanda

CIDH Consultation Older Persons [OAS Committee on Human Rights]
Resources for those responding to consultations on palliative care for older persons

World Population Ageing DESA 2015 (Has country specific data)
Global Atlas of Palliative Care at the End of Life
Atlas of Palliative Care in Latin America
Los Cuidados Paliativos desde un Enfoque de Derechos Humanos, Rosa Kornfeld Matte, Independent Expert on the Rights of Older Persons
IAHPC Draft List of Resources with Links

Regional Event on Access to Controlled Medicines, Panama. Taller Regional sobre Acceso a Sustancias Controladas

Remarks/Planteamientos of Panama Secretary General Health, Panama Dra Nitzia Iglesias, Secretaria General Ministerio de Salud
Presentación de Dr. Gaspar la Costa sobre Provision de Cuidados Paliativos parte de la Cobertura Universal en Salud

Vienna CND and Preliminary Meetings

Report of Dr. Nahla Gafer
IAHPC Written submission to UNODC for CND62: Solving the opioid epidemics
Ebtesam Ahmed Statement at the UN Hearing
Statement of IAHPC to CND62, given by Dra. Marta Leon, Colombia.
El Salvador Resolution L8. Enhancing the capacity of Member States to adequately estimate and assess the need for internationally controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes, Spanish and English.
Background Document
United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Technical Guidance: Improving Access and Availability of Controlled Medicines, English and Spanish.

Central America Launch of the Lancet Report, February 2019, Presentations

Cómo la sociedad civil puede colaborar con los gobiernos para implementar el Informe Lancet? -Katherine Irene Pettus, PhD
Acceso a Medicamentos Esenciales en Cuidado Paliativo - Liliana De Lima, MHA

World Day of the Sick, 2019

WDS 2019 Concept Note

144th World Health Organisation Executive Board Meeting, 24 January- February 1, 2019, Agenda and Documents

IAHPC Advocacy Note for WHO EB144
How to Use the Advocacy Note
IAHPC Delegation Members Indemnity Agreement
WHO EB Members by Country
Engagement with Non-State Actors
Advocacy Talk at WHO

Statements of IAHPC to WHO #EB144

IAHPC Statement on Proposed Program Budget WHO EB144
WHO EB144 statement on cancer medicines
WHO EB144 Statement on Community Health Workers
WHOEB 144 Statement on Medicines and Vaccines


Commission on Narcotic Drugs reconvened session December 5, 2018

Statement of IAHPC, delivered by Heloisa Broggiato.

Meeting of 41st Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) at WHO: potential recommendation to schedule tramadol

The IAHPC Presentation for the Public Meeting Preceding the 41st ECDD
Letter from IAHPC to WHO Director Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus regarding composition of 41st ECDD
Dr. Tedros letter to IAHPC re 41st ECDD and potential scheduling of tramadol
IAHPC Letter to WHO on tramadol review
Letter from Human Rights Watch to WHO Secretariat re tramadol review
Letter from the Latin American Palliative Care Association (ALCP)
Letter from The Union of International Cancer Control
Letter from the Indian Association of Palliative Care
IDPC Contribution to 41st ECDD Review of tramadol and cannabis
Letter of World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists to 41st ECDD
African Palliative Care Association Letter re tramadol review to 41st ECDD
Letter from Global Drug Policy Observatory, Swansea University to WHO Secretariat re tramadol
Worldwide Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance Letter to WHO Secretariat re tramadol review
Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network letter to WHO re ECDD review of tramadol
European Association for Palliative Care letter on tramadol to WHO ECDD
Ebtesam Ahmed Report

Global Conference on Primary Health Care, Astana


Declaration of Astana 2018
Palliative Care Ticks All the Boxes: UHC — PHC — SDGs — NCDs — UDHR, Medium

Implementation framework

A DRAFT Operational Framework is currently under online consultation with WHO until 31 December 2018. WHO would appreciate your insights and the dissemination of this consultation broadly within your networks as appropriate. All background documents (including the Operational Framework) can be found here.

Direct links to the operational framework and consultation website are below:
DRAFT Operational Framework Consultation Link

Short video of Gulnara Kunirova on the impact of the Astana Declaration on palliative care in Kazakhstan

Gulnara Kunirova Statement

Proposed Tramadol Scheduling

More information

38th European Regional Committee Meeting of the World Health Organisation, Rome 17-20, 2018

IAHPC Written Statement on the Background Document "Advancing public health for sustainable development in the WHO European Region"
IAHPC Written Statement on "Progress reports on Investing in Children: the European Child and Adolescent Health Strategy 2015–2020 and the European Child Maltreatment Prevention Action Plan 2015–2020."
Oral Statement on Strategy on the health and well-being of men in the WHO European Region and Associated Resolution
EUR/RC68/Conf.Doc./7 Rev.1.
Interview with Dr. Ulana Suprun, Acting Health Minister, Ukraine

Alma Ata Jubilee WHO Consultation on Primary Healthcare

Astana Declaration on Primary Health Care: From Alma-Ata towards Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. Contribution of EAPC Primary Care Reference Group
Rationale for the inclusion of palliative care in primary health care Position statement of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Primary Care Reference Group.
Palliative care and the endless cycle of serious health-related suffering, Lancet.
IAHPC Suggestions for Web Consultation on Astana Declaration.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

IAHPC Submission to Division of Older Persons IACHR: "Improving access to internationally controlled essential medicines": July 26, 2018.


Third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non Communicable Diseases

IAHPC intervention Civil Society Hearing High Level Meeting on NCDs
Zero Draft of Political Declaration
IAHPC Submission on Political Declaration
Cover Letter to Partners

Ninth Open Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWGA9), July 23-26, 2018

IAHPC Intervention OEWGA 9 July 25, 2018
American Bar Association Intervention OEWGA9 on Palliative Care
Help Age Cambodia statement on Long Term and Palliative Care in Cambodia for OEWGA9

Videos and Policy Briefs for OEWGA9

Bengal, Arnab Paul

Policy Brief

Burkina Faso, Dr. Martin Lankoande

Policy Brief Policy Brief Burkina Faso

Cameroon, Projet de Politique des soins palliatifs B Messing

Policy Brief

Intégration des soins palliatifs, gage de la couverture santé pour tous au Cameroun" Dr. Bernard Messing

Chile, Camilo Meneses Cortés

Policy Brief

Guatemala, Ebtesam Ahmed

Policy Brief

India Dr Abraham Varghese

India, Reverend Abraham Varghese

Policy Brief

India, A. Ghoshal

Policy Brief

Nigeria, Dr Folaju Oyebola

Policy Brief

Nigeria, Dr. Lanre Onigbogi

Policy Brief

Ukraine, Dr. Ira Slugotska

Policy Brief

Focus Questions on Long Term and Palliative Care
Guiding Questions
UN OEWGA9 Web Page

IAHPC/WHO Policy Brief Course OEWGA9 Summary
IAHPC Report to DESA for OEWGA9

Selected NGO's in country answers to guiding questions:

For any questions, please write contact IAHPC Advocacy Officer [email protected]

Stakeholder Group on Ageing: Position paper submitted to the High-Level Political Forum 2018. GOAL 11: BUILDING INCLUSIVE, SAFE, RESILIENT AND SUSTAINABLE CITIES FOR ALL AGES, INCLUDING OLDER PERSONS, April 12, 2018.

Palliative Care and Universal Health Coverage

Flyer United Nations OEWGA - IAHPC Side Event design

Lancet Commission Report, 2017-2018

Comment with declaraction 2018 18TL2795
DeclarAction Lancet

71st World Health Assembly IAHPC Advocacy Note

Download document

IAHPC Interventions Agenda Items WHA71
IAHPC Statement on Public Health Implications of the World Drug Problem WHA 71

IAHPC Submission to Human Rights Council regarding Resolution 37/42

Implementation of our joint commitment to effectively address and counter the world drug problem with regard to human rights.

IAHPC submission in response to First Draft Report of WHO High Level Commission on NCDs, May 15, 2018

Download document

IAHPC intervention at VIENNA GENEVA forum on drug policy

IAHPC statement to Meeting in Geneva

ALCP Congress 2018 Presentations on Palliative Care for Older Persons

Rosa Kornfeld Matte - Los Cuidados Paliativos desde un Enfoque de Derechos Humanos
Maria Lucia Samudio - Cuidado Paliativo Geriátrico - Experiencia desde la práctica privada en Bogotá, Colombia
Jose Mario Lopez Saca - Situación de los Cuidados Paliativos y la Población Adulto Mayor en El Salvador

Session 61, Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Vienna, March 12-16

Dr. Katherine Pettus, Plenary Intervention

Dr. Viktoriia Tymoshevska, Side Event Presentation

Statement of Belgium

IAPCON 2018 (India Association of Palliative Care Conference) Advocacy Workshop

Help Age India Presentation IAPCON 2018.

How does Palliative Care Contribute to achievement of the SDGs? A Preliminary Concept Note

Download document

IAHPC Intervention at WHO EB142 given by Dr. Tania Pastrana ALCP President

In English

In Spanish

IAHPC Oral Statements to WHO Executive Board meeting 142, published January 19, 2018

Agenda Item 3.1 on Draft General Program of Work

IAHPC welcomes the new standalone paragraph 38 in the Draft GPW13, which recognises the need to increase palliative care provision around the world for children, adults, and older persons. We also welcome the explicit inclusion of palliative care in the spectrum of UHC essential services. We draw member states’ attention to the recently released Lancet Commission Report “Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care and pain relief—an imperative of universal health coverage”. The Lancet Commission Report resulted from a three year project involving 61 co-authors from 25 countries. It presents an Essential Package of palliative care services, including medicines, equipment and staffing models that health systems worldwide must provide. It also calls for more balanced global policies to facilitate access to opioid analgesics such as oral morphine to meet legitimate medical need, and limiting non-medical use. The Commission estimates global need for palliative care and pain relief using a new measure of Serious Health- related Suffering. An estimated 25.5 million people died with serious health related suffering – nearly half of all deaths worldwide, in 2015. This includes 2.5 million children aged under 15 (representing more than 1/3 of child deaths). More than 80% of the children, adults and older persons needing palliative care live in the LMICs. The IAHPC and Lancet Working Group is standing by to assist member states in developing policies and budgets to implement the Essential Package.

Palliative care cannot be a substitute for improved access to public health interventions and treatments that could have prevented much suffering and premature death in the first place. But, equally, no health system can expect to meet the needs of its people without providing access to basic pain relief and palliative care.

For more information and advocacy messages see hospicecare.com

Agenda Item 3.6 Access to Medicines

IAHPC notes that availability of internationally controlled essential medicines for legitimate medical purposes has improved in some WHO member states. However, much work remains to make these medicines accessible and affordable to meet palliative care needs of patients and families in countries reporting low to no consumption, according to the International Narcotics Control Board. IAHPC works closely with the INCB, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and with CICAD at the Organisation of American States, to ensure the rational improved availability of controlled medicines while preventing non- medical use. We are committed to assisting WHO member states to implementing WHA 69/25 on access to medicines. These include internationally controlled essential medicines for the relief of pain and palliative care. We commend the WHO Secretariat for including an indicator for palliative care development in the GPW13, and an attainable target for member states. The WHO Guidance states clearly that palliative care provision requires access to essential medicines (including for example, oral morphine), training, education of health care professionals, public policy, and a small share of the health budget. Our global membership is a resource of expert providers from diverse cultures and contexts. We offer technical assistance to assess the proposed WHO palliative care indicator and target, and can assist with professional education and training programs upon request. Basic training and education of providers is the most safe and ethical way to relieve patient suffering. It supports a resilient culture that prevents diversion and non- medical use of controlled medicines. IAHPC recently collaborated with UNODC to prepare the recent “Technical Guidance on Increasing Access to and Availability of Controlled Drugs for Medical Purposes: Key Areas of Focus” to be discussed with WHO at the next regular meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. See http://bit.ly/2mVZxB6, hospicecare.com


Russian Translations by Dr. Ioseb Asadze.
Spanish Translations by Dr. Tania Pastrana.

Advocacy Note for WHO EB 142

Information note on palliative care for the Executive Board of the World Health Organisation – January 22-27 2018

WHO Executive Board (EB) Meeting #142 (January 22-27, 2018)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has just issued its revised Draft Program of Work (GPW13), which will be discussed later this month at the EB Meeting. Palliative care advocates worked hard to ensure that the GPW includes good language on the need for palliative care in sections pertaining to Universal Health Coverage (UHC), communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and ageing. The new daft has much improved language and a stand-alone paragraph on palliative care. The WHO Technical Team will soon release an indicator on internationally controlled medicines, to be included in the Impact Framework.

The text of the Draft GPW, to be discussed during the upcoming WHO Executive Board meeting, can be found here. There are several references to palliative care outside the stand-alone paragraph, which reads as follows.

38. "There is limited availability of palliative care services in much of the world, which contributes to much avoidable suffering for millions of patients and their families. WHO will emphasize the need to create or strengthen health systems that include palliative care as an integral component of treatment within the continuum of care. The Organization will promote the adequate availability of internationally controlled essential medicines in palliative care, including for the management of pain, while preventing their diversion and abuse.”

Proposed target: Increase the availability of oral morphine in facilities at all levels from 25% to 50%

38. "Hay una disponibilidad limitada de servicios de cuidados paliativos en gran parte del mundo, lo que contribuye a un sufrimiento evitable para millones de pacientes y sus familias. La OMS enfatizará la necesidad de crear o fortalecer sistemas de salud que incluyan los cuidados paliativos como un componente integral del tratamiento en el continuo de la atención. La Organización promoverá la disponibilidad adecuada en cuidados paliativos de medicamentos esenciales controlados internacionalmente, incluyendo aquellos para el tratamiento del dolor, al tiempo que se prevendrá su desviación y abuso".

Meta propuesta: Aumentar la disponibilidad de morfina oral del 25% al 50% en las instituciones de todos los niveles de atención

What you can do. IAHPC is urging national and regional associations, members, and friends, to advocate with their governments to support the GPW, the palliative care language, and proposed palliative care indicator. Provider advocates should identify the officials in their their government responsible for relations with WHO, and get the contact information for their country’s representative at the WHOEB in Geneva. These may be the same or different people. They should introduce themselves to that person, and should prepare a paragraph for them on how their government is working to include palliative care and controlled medicines in their public health programs. This can include successes and challenges, and invite them to get in touch with your National Association — give them the name and contact info of a specific person who can respond to them.

You can send this specific paragraph to your government officials with, or separately from, the more general Advocacy Note we will send out shortly. This will allow your government delegations to make an oral intervention from the floor of the WHO EB meeting concerning the state of palliative care and progress towards Agenda 2030 (SDG Target 3.8) in your countries. Without your giving them this information, the delegation might not know what is happening, and therefore will be unable to address the topic. Government interventions are usually prepared a week or more before the event, so the sooner you can prepare this information and get it to your government officials, the better.

We are in the process of developing an Advocacy Concept Note and will post it as soon as it is approved.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Thanks in advance for your work, Katherine Pettus, Advocacy Officer.

[email protected]. Some background reading can be found here.

World Health Organisation Executive Board Special Session

Useful Articles for Advocacy

WHO/IAHPC Webinar on How to Write and Evidence Based Policy Brief


Advocacy is defined as "the act of pleading for, supporting, or recommending.”

IAHPC pleads for, supports, and recommends policies that

The IAHPC Advocacy Program engages with policymakers and non-governmental organisations at multiple levels (international, regional, national, and municipal) to raise awareness about the need for palliative care and to advance the IAHPC Mission.

As an organisation in official relations with the World Health Organisation, IAHPC advocates for palliative care policies that align with the World Health Organisation definition and WHA Resolution 67/19.

We partner with other global, regional, and national palliative care organisations, as well as with other global health organisations, and non-governmental organizations that support the rights of vulnerable populations, including older persons. Our global advocacy partners include, but are not limited to: the Worldwide Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance, the International Children’s Palliative Care Network, the Pain and Policy Studies Group, Union for International Cancer Control, NCD Alliance. Our regional partners include, but are not limited to, The African Palliative Care Association, the European Palliative Care Association, the Asia Pacific Palliative Care Hospice Palliative Care Network.

Below is a list of future and ongoing advocacy opportunities and relevant documents for each, including IAHPC statements and interventions

Non-Communicable Diseases Meeting Uruguay 2017, UNGASS 2018
Agenda 2030 and High Level Political Forum
Open Ended Working Group on Ageing #9 2018
World Health Organisation Executive Board Meeting and Assembly 2019
Commission on Narcotic Drugs UNGASS2016 and 2019
Advocacy and Opioid Availability Workshops (Montevideo, Bogota, Guatemala City, San Salvador)

In this section you will find a list of resources and tools that we hope you will find useful in your effort to advance palliative care policies in your country/setting.

Katherine Pettus blogs, personal, palliative care related

African Palliative Care and the Ethos of Hospitality

Advocacy Program