Grantee details

Traveling Scholars Program Report

Irena Laska, Master

Travel date: September 19, 2022

Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: 7th Public Health Palliative Care International Conference

Origin: Korca, Albania / Destination: Bruges, Belgium


Irena Laska

How was this meeting/activity helpful to you?

I feel privileged to have been selected by the IAHPC as a participant in the International Conference on Palliative Care in Public Health, held in Bruges on September 20-23, 2022. During my work on palliative care, I have been part of many activities, conferences and congresses about this service, which is becoming more and more necessary all over the world. Public Health Palliative Care International Conference has been a new and extraordinary experience for me, not only for the way of organization but also for the issues referred there.
In this conference, clinical issues were not referred to, but many researches focused on PC and the role of all actors and the community in developing this service and increasing the quality of care for people in need. This helped me to understand the role and involvement of many actors in the extension and development of this service even in the country where I work.
During this conference I was impressed with the dedication of the speakers in providing such professional information derived from their ongoing research as well as the motivation of the participants/colleagues to listen and take in everything that was offered, and this was evident by the high participation. I was also impressed by the promotion of palliative care in the public service, the promotion of health and well-being, the promotion of interventions to treat the disease and ensure the well-being of the patient, as well as sharing experiences with colleagues from all over the world.

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

This activity has been very valuable for me since my daily work is related with patients in need for palliative care, education and advocacy. I will share the information gained at this conference with my colleagues, with whom I work.
In my position as a lecturer, this experience helped me to increase my knowledge, especially about research in palliative care and not only about clinical issues, but also about psycho-social and spiritual ones, both for patients and their families. I will add to my activity the involvement of students in more such researches which will have an impact on increasing the quality of the health service and ensuring the well-being of people in need for PC.
Being part of every plenary session, but also in workshops and other sessions, I strengthened the idea that those who work in PC have the opportunity but also the obligation to advocate for this important and necessary service, to integrate it into the entire public health service
This experience will help me continue to advocate for PC, by being a stronger voice and with more arguments. Advocacy requires a lot of research, which helps uncover the problems and needs of patients and families.
As a leader in palliative care, this conference helped me to think and reflect that, parallel to the service offered, we should be involved in research and make the service offered accessible to anyone and everywhere, measurable and monitorable.
"PC, it is more than you think." This was an expression written in one of the plenary presentations that stuck in my mind. Yes, "PC, it is more than you/we think", it is care, dedication, compassion, involvement, respect and dignity not only for patients in need for it, but also for their families/caregivers. PC is everything that people in need are looking for.
Thank you to IAHPC for making it possible for me to participate in this important activity. This experience will positively influence my role and involvement in the development of PC in Albania and making it accessible to all people in need.