Grantee details

Traveling Scholars Program Report

Joshua Ngwang Menang, RN

Travel date: May 18, 2017

Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: 15th European Association Palliative Care Conference

Origin: Mutegene, Cameroon / Destination: Madrid, Spain

How was this meeting/activity helpful to you?

Learning how the developing nations deal with palliative care especially end-of-life challenges was very vital lessons for me because cultural barriers in my community play a very negative role in the care of people especially with a terminal diagnosis.

How will you new knowledge & acquired skills help in furthering your work in hospice and palliative care in your program/city/ or country?

Using a new approach of breaking the news of a bad diagnosis to both a patient and family members using a step-by-step approach seem to be a better alternative which if successful in implementing in the days ahead, will really benefit our patients. In other words, this different approach will certainly redeem the trust, confidence, and hope in both our community dwellers with palliative care needs.

How IAHPC Traveling Scholars Program be improved in order to help other future traveling scholars?

It may be very beneficial for IAHPC to have partnering institutions hosting conferences/symposia where IAHPC is sponsoring participants; to consider assisting as well – such as either waiving registration fee or maintain the early registration throughout.

Narrative summary highlighting the needs and challanges you face

Cameroon is a very beautiful, rich, highly spiritual and friendly country but with a very slow development both in infrastructure (roads, medical, educational etc). These affect health care in general – considering few hospitals that exist; usually located in the cities which by implication, rarely benefit countryside dwellers. Health wise, a typical Cameroonian just like many Africans HATE to be told of a terminal diagnosis. This explains why even African presidents NEVER want their health status to be disclosed unlike western. As spiritual as Cameroonians are - just like many Africans, spiritual support (be it from the Christianity, Islam, ancestral worshippers, African religion etc) during ill-health especially terminally ill conditions is very beneficial. Lack of physicians has resulted in many nurses – either partially or fully trained to take the leading role in the management of health care of most clinics and hospitals even as the challenges of palliative care are sharply increasing. Successfully providing palliative care in Cameroon means therefore that the experts need to understand the above so as to creatively make the best of judgment in comfortably meeting the palliative needs and goals. Attending the 2017 EAPC Congress was very enriching opportunity for me, learning what is being done in other regions of the world by visiting abstracts, attending lectures, interacting with global experts where we discussed (exchanged) experiences, network etc. Some of the most exciting sessions that I am capable of, and have submitted a plan of action to my administration include what I learned on, ‘‘ ‘ Palliative Care in Developing and Middle-Income Countries’, ‘Social Aspects of Dying’, and Bereavement & Spirituality, ‘Death and Dying’, ’’. Even though challenges of limited resources never go away, it is undisputable fact that acquiring knowledge is very useful in that, the acquired knowledge can creatively be improvised; blending with the available resources to effect maximum outcome of the care. I look forward to presenting our improved palliative care and impact on the community care and support during subsequent events with sincere gratitude to IAHPC for providing the generous travel grant.