2012; Volume 13, No 12, December
Message from the Chair and Executive Director
Welcome to the last issue of our Newsletter in 2012.
By the end of this year, seven of our Board members will be completing their terms. They are: Zipporah Ali (Kenya); Michael Bennett (UK); Kin-San Chan (Hong Kong); David Currow (Australia); Scott Murray (UK); Faith Mwangi-Powell (USA) and Gayatri Palat (India). Please join us in thanking each of them for their contributions to IAHPC and their efforts in helping the organization achieve its mission. It has been an honor for us to have been able to work with these members of the Board.
During the past months, we sent several announcements asking IAHPC members (formerly termed members) to nominate candidates to these positions -- the deadline for nominations was November 30th. The response was enthusiastic and several candidates were nominated. Newly elected or re-elected members will be announced early in January 2013.
As the year ends, we are proud of the things we were able to achieve through our programs and projects and of the support we were able to provide to developing countries in the accomplishment of our mission. Some examples of activities aimed to improve the care of patients and families around the world, include:
- An IAHPC membership fee schedule based on the Gross National Income of the country where the applicant lives. Fees start at $10 per year for individuals living in countries classified as Low by the United Nations.
- Access to IAHPC members to the CINAHL database, with thousands of citations and online journals, including the following palliative care journals:
- Indian Journal of Palliative Care
- International Journal of Palliative Nursing
- Internet Journal of Pain, Symptom Control & Palliative Care
- Journal of Palliative Medicine
- Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy.
- Palliative Medicine
- Progress in Palliative Care
- IAHPC Opioid Essential Prescription Package (OEPP): The aim of this study was to determine, by consensus, the components of an OEPP to be used when initiating an opioid prescription for the control of moderate to severe chronic pain. Sixty palliative care physicians were sampled from the IAHPC membership list to represent a range of countries of varying economic levels and diverse geographical regions. Using a Delphi study method, physicians were asked to rank preferences of drug and dosing schedule for a first line opioid, antiemetic and laxative. The OEPP is available in an Open Access mode here.
- IAHPC List of Essential Practices in Palliative Care: The objective of this project was to identify, through a consensus process, the essential practices in palliative care which could be provided by physicians, nurses and nurse aides working at the primary care level that could be applicable in all socioeconomic settings. A three phase study was designed and implemented over two and a half years. The phases included the development of a baseline list, a Delphi process with participants from more than 60 countries and the participation of representatives from 45 palliative care organizations. The published manuscript is available in our website under the Resources section.
- Opioid Availability Strategy: A strategy to improve access to opioid analgesics for medical needs in Latin America, was shared through workshops in Quito, for Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela. This followed seven other workshops in other countries that were implemented in 2011. Some countries have made significant progress in improving access to opioids after these workshops and additional ones are being planned for next year.
- Traveling Scholarships: 55 traveling scholarships were awarded to individuals from 27 countries during 2012. Through this program IAHPC provided financial support to palliative care leaders from developing countries to attend international palliative care congresses, courses, seminars or training sessions.
- We continued the implementation of the IAHPC – Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund bursaries for Africa to build, improve, and advance palliative care in sub-Saharan Africa. This program was possible through a grant from the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Through this program we have been able to provide $406,000 in bursaries to support formal palliative care degrees and training in basic research to 63 palliative care workers from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as support the travel of the research course faculty from Germany and the UK to Uganda.
- Traveling Fellowships: 6 traveling fellowships were awarded to individualsto teach palliative care in developing countries including, Guatemala, Gaza Strip, India, Kenya, South Africa and Somaliland territories. Through this program IAHPC provided financial assistance to support the travel of faculty.
- The celebration in October of the Members' Recognition Month was designed to build awareness and understanding of the vital function that our members (members) play in the advancement of our mission as well as to give recognition to our members for their support. Two iPads were awarded in the following categories:
- Recognizing Loyalty: to maintain the loyalty of members by giving a prize to a selected individual or institution who keeps the IAHPC membership active for at least two consecutive years. Dr. Bishnu Dutta Paduel, Associate Professor at the National Academy of Medical Sciences in Bir Hospital, Kathmandu, was randomly selected from the list of loyal members.
- Increasing Membership: to increase the number of members by giving a prize to the individual who recruits the highest number of new or renewed members during October. The winner of this prize was the International Leadership Program at San Diego Hospice in California. The prize was further delivered by the LDI team to Ms Debra Pledger-Fonte, coordinator of the LDI program, for her hard work and dedication to the advancement of international palliative care leaders.
- Atlas of Palliative Care in Latin America produced by the Latin American Association for Palliative Care (ALCP): After two and half years the ALCP completed the Atlas of Palliative Care in the Region. IAHPC was one of the partners in this project and the reports are published online under the IAHPC Press brand. This is the first report of the status of palliative care in Latin America based on a systematic review and structured survey. The reports are available in the ALCP website here.
We could not have been able to achieve the above without the generous support of our board of directors, our members, donors, foundations and organizations. We are especially grateful with the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, the Open Society Foundations, the International Leadership Program at San Diego Hospice and the US Cancer Pain Relief Committee for their support.
All our donors and supporters believe in IAHPC's mission and in our goal to have an impact on the promotion and development of palliative care. Our ability to continue to help others depends heavily on the support we receive from everyone, so please consider donating to IAHPC. You can donate through our website at here.
We face many challenges in the future, especially because of the current global economic situation. We are aware that we face financial constraints and have prepared ourselves to meet these challenges. Our strong commitment to support the development of palliative care around the world will continue to be our driving force. We wish to thank all those who make our work worthwhile - the patients and their families, the health care workers, and the volunteers who dedicate and give so much to palliative care.
Best wishes to all of you, your friends and family members for the coming holidays and hope that next year will bring much happiness and success. May your dreams come true.
Roberto Wenk, MD
Chair, Board of Directors
Liliana De Lima, MHA
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