I am most grateful to IAHPC and Cairedeas Trust for the Traveling Scholarship grant that enabled me to attend the 13th World Congress of the European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC) in Prague. This was my first international travel and the congress was an excellent opportunity for me to learn from a wide variety of topics in palliative care that enhanced my perspective, knowledge and skills. The presentations were highly organized and addressed practical current issues in palliative care around the world, particularly in research. I was able to participate in both formal and informal discussions guided by international experts where I learnt a lot. The knowledge gained will guide me as I put it into practice in Uganda. Specifically, we had helpful deliberations during a workshop on “Colorful Life of Hospice Volunteers in Europe” and were blessed to be part of it. We found this workshop both relevant and informative about the tremendous role that volunteers play in various palliative care settings. I was also inspired by the movie shown during the opening ceremony highlighting the work of Dr Derek Doyle to improve the practice of palliative care while honoring him with the EAPC Award 2013.
During the Congress, I was able to meet many of the great leaders in palliative care who inspired me by their excellent presentations and poster discussions. Being able to make contacts and exchange e-mail addresses was helpful. Many of them were happy and excited to hear about the growth of palliative care in Africa especially Uganda which has made great strides in improving palliative care practice.
I enjoyed viewing hundreds of well written posters which highlighted research in palliative care. The posters were highly competitive and relevant to our day-to-day activities. I was also delighted to share my two posters on “Factors affecting continuity of care from Mulago Hospital palliative care unit” and “Trends of morphine consumption at Mulago Hospital: impact of an integrated hospital based palliative care service.” I was pleased and honored, as were my colleagues on the Mulago Hospital Palliative Care team, to win the prize of Best Poster from a developing country. I appreciate the efforts of all the people who supported me and made it possible to present this work. Thanks especially to Dr. Mhoira Leng and Prof. Lukas Radbruch.
Last but not least, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) who provided me with a travelling grant, Cairdeas Trust who coordinated all our travels and the EAPC organizing committee that advised us in many ways. I pray that the Almighty God enables you to continue supporting palliative care activities as you grow and develop disciples who will spread the gospel of palliative care everywhere.
Turyahikayo Jack, MD
Mulago Palliative Care Unit.
I just returned from the 11th world congress of the European Association for Palliative Care (May 30 – June2, 2013). I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to the IAHPC for the scholarship given to me to attend this conference.
In Jordan, we have been able to build a comprehensive palliative care program in the King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC). Nevertheless, there are more than 10,000 patients that need palliative care but have no access to KHCC. The Jordan Palliative Care Society is building capacity for palliative care by offering basic and advanced training.
Joining this important event was an exceptional opportunity for me to update my information, meet experts, peers and friends – a very enriching experience.
I noticed an increased attention to the spiritual aspects of care, and I was touched by the valuable presentation by Dr. Joe Hartford who discussed current palliative care in Muslim majority countries.
My strategic goal is to start a palliative care academy that would help people who are interested in palliative care in the region. It goes without saying that this event helped me shape my vision to create an international network of colleagues for this promising project.
Once again, many thanks to IAHPC, Liliana De Lima and her wonderful team.
Mohammad Bushnaq, MD
Chairman, Jordan Palliative Care Society.