Message from the Chair and Executive Director

2013; Volume 14, No 6, June

Message from the Chair and Executive Director

Dear readers:

Many great things happened this past month:

  1. The World Health Assembly (WHA) took place in Geneva. The WHA is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO). It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed program budget.

    Two important things happened for palliative care development:

    a) A resolution was adopted by the WHA to endorse the WHO global action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable (NDCs) diseases 2013–2020. This global action includes palliative care as a component of care for NCDs. We are very pleased with this resolution and how it will have a positive impact on the provision of care.

    b) A side event on palliative care took place during the WHA – this edition includes the concept note for this side event and a brief report by our Chair–elect, Lukas Radbruch, who was present representing IAHPC. The event was sponsored by Panama, Nigeria and USA and co sponsored by several NGOs, including IAHPC. The piece by Dr Radbruch and some pictures taken at the event are below. We are very grateful with Mr Diederik Lohman for coordinating and leading the organization of this side event.

  2. On May 29th, we had our Board of Directors’ meeting in Prague, the day before the start of the World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC). Eight directors attended, including Lukas Radbruch and two guests. We presented and discussed our Annual Report from 2012, analyzed ways in which IAHPC may help better serve its purpose and mission, and also reviewed several of the current programs and projects we are working on. We are very grateful with all those who attended and provided valuable feedback and suggestions.
  3. The airline decided not to ship our booth, so it never made it to Prague! However, our officers, Ana Restrepo and Lina Rozo were at the table helping, answering questions, providing information and enrolling new members. Our table looked bare, but we were in high spirits as we were able to see and share great stories with many friends who stopped by! Twenty grantees from Low and Middle Income Countries benefited from IAHPC’s Traveling Scholarships.

Here are some photos of some of the grantees, Dr. Eric Krakauer, one of our board members and Ms Lina Rozo and Ms Ana Restrepo, of the IAHPC staff:

It was exciting to see participants from all regions of the world, especially from developing countries. We wish to thank the EAPC for providing IAHPC a space at no cost in the exhibit area. The congress went very well - congratulations to the organizers and scientific committee for putting together a successful congress, and for its continued efforts in the development of palliative care in Europe and around the world!

These are exciting times for palliative care and there has been a tremendous increase in the interest in international issues. However, this interest does not always result in a truly global agenda, but rather in fractured and regionalized efforts.

In our effort to keep our global perspective and to be operationally simple and cost effective in the use of our limited funds, we will continue to collaborate and communicate with organizations, NGOs and institutions from around the world that are also helping in the field. With our new projects, we hope to provide additional ways to network and collaborate among those in the palliative care community.

Until next month,

Roberto Wenk, MD
Chair Board of Directors

Liliana De Lima, MHA
Executive Director

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