Travel date: May 23, 2019
Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: 16th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC)
Origin: ILE IFE, Nigeria / Destination: Berlin, Germany
The conference, being my first Palliative Care conference, gave me an invaluable experience and opportunity to meet with experts in Palliative Care from around the world. I attended the Paediatric Palliative care seminar on Thursday from which I learned about the experiences and PC needs assessment in children. This has greatly prepared me for future roles and responsibilities in Paediatric Palliative Care.
I plan to disseminate the knowledge acquired from this conference by organizing Palliative Care seminars for health professionals in my institution. Also, as a clinic instructor for undergraduate students, I plan to share the skill learned with these students and my teammates by emphasizing the importance of holistic approach in patient management. I plan to create a Paediatric Palliative Care unit in my organization.
I would like to appreciate the IAHPC for the Travelling scholarship granted me without which, I would not have been able to attend the Conference. The scholarship enabled me to attend my first Palliative Care conference and now I look forward to attending more. I think it would be nice if the IAHPC could organize a mentorship programme for travelling scholars which will include follow ups and mentoring especially for those of us coming from regions/ countries where palliative care services has not been well developed.
The concept of Palliative care in my country is relatively new and most especially in my institution. It is far from adequate even though it is an essential health service. Nigeria is the most populous Country in Africa region with a population of more than 170 million people. It has an estimated palliative care need of over I.7 million. In Nigeria, only six tertiary hospitals render palliative care services at present. There are several barriers to accessing palliative care in Nigeria, some of which include non-availability of opiods/erratic supply of morphine, negative attitudes of health workers on the use of morphine, inadequate knowledge on palliative care, lack of resources, lack of fund, government policy, poverty, sustainability and health care system issues. With the knowledge learned during this conference, engaging in grassroot/ community awareness, education of health care providers and teamwork would go a long way in overcoming some of these barriers.