Grantees at the 20th International Congress on Palliative Care, Montreal.
Left to right: Kellen N. Kimani, Nairobi, Kenya; Aditya Manna, Tamluuk, India; Luciano Gabriel Uzal, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Layth Mula Hussain, Qirga, Iraq; Celeste Mariel Jerez, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Ivonne Martin Hernandez, Habana, Cuba; Jose Mario Lopez Saca, San Salvador, El Salvador and Tania Pastrana, Aachen, Germany (IAHPC research assistant)
Earlier this year, IAHPC awarded grants enabling seven individuals from several countries to take part in the 20th International Congress on Palliative Care. Held in Montreal from 9-12 September, the congress brought together the global palliative care community. We are delighted to publish comments from three of our grantees to give you a glimpse of their experiences at the congress, and how they plan to adapt their learning to their own situations back home in Cuba, India and Kenya.
Ivonne Martin Hernández is a bioethicist in a multidisciplinary team in Cuba that assists patients with Huntington’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Although she has carried out investigations about palliative care and neurodegenerative diseases and ethics at the end of life, her work had previously only been presented in Cuba. Sharing her work at the congress was a great opportunity.
“My attendance in this congress allowed me to know many professionals in Palliative Care. I presented the poster ‘Are we prepared to communicate our last wills in advance?’. In Cuba, advance directives are an unregulated practice in the legal system and its discussion in various settings and contexts will surely take some time before being legally approved. However, many participants were interested in the results of my work and they told me the experiences of their countries with advance directives. I learned a lot from the presentations and posters of colleagues.”
Ivonne Martin Hernández, Havana, Cuba.
Aditya Manna is from a non-profit organization, Narikeldaha Prayas, in India. He found the congress inspiring and the chance to meet palliative care workers from many different countries lessened his sense of isolation and loneliness. Aditya valued the opportunity to learn new techniques, such as music therapy and methods of relieving pain without morphine.
“’Till now our interventions were confined to the conventional methods of palliative care like medicines, analgesics, verbal encouragement, etc. We had never thought that music could be of any use in palliative care. But coming to this congress I have learned that music can have a very significant effect in this field. This was a revelation to me.”
Aditya Manna, Moyna, India.
Dr. Kellen Kimani is a researcher from Kenya for whom the congress was a wonderful opportunity to learn about current advances in palliative care research and practice, and a supportive platform for sharing her own work.
“I would like to thank the International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care for awarding me a travelling scholarship to attend the 20th International Congress on Palliative Care to present a poster detailing my PhD research: “Quality of life: experience and expectations of patients with advanced heart failure in Kenya”.
I look forward to applying the knowledge and skills I gained in conducting research and generating solutions for palliative care challenges in the country. In particular, the lessons learnt from the clinical master class for non-malignant diseases and the sessions on monitoring performance in palliative care and the public health approach to palliative care, added great value to my research.”
Dr. Kellen Kimani, Nairobi, Kenya.
Read more about the IAHPC Travelling Scholarships program and apply now for 2015.
The 21st International Congress on Palliative Care, Montreal, Canada, takes place on 13-16 September 2016.