Message from the Chair and Executive Director

2015; Volume 16, No 4, April

Message from the Chair and Executive Director

Dear readers,

Happy Birthday! This issue marks the 19th Anniversary of the IAHPC Newsletter!

We are very proud of our Newsletter, but most of all we appreciate the work of those who have contributed for so many years to the content and made possible our monthly publication.

The Newsletter has proven to be a wonderful tool to disseminate a broad range of information and increase awareness about hospice and palliative care around the world and has enabled many of you to learn about new developments, events and also to bring attention to your own programs, the challenges that many of you face and the progress that thousands have been able to achieve.

We also thank the many contributors and board members who have supplied us with outstanding content each month. We especially thank our previous Senior Editor, Dr. William Farr for his dedication during 18 years as editor, Dr. Roger Woodruff for his monthly book reviews, Dr. Katherine Pettus for her policy piece and to Ms. Avril Jackson who is now the Senior Editor for the IAHPC Newsletter. Although Avril took this role just a few months ago, she is doing an excellent job and fits very well in these shoes!

Many thanks as well to our members and readers who submit news and articles about their efforts and developments in their countries. Please remember that we accept articles for our publication that describe your progress and the programs that you are implementing in your countries, as well as news from your region. Your articles enrich our newsletter and are a crucial part of our mission to facilitate communication. Please contact Avril if you are interested in submitting a piece for our NL.

Thanks also to our webmaster, Mr. Danilo Fritzler, for his excellent work in the setting and distribution of the Newsletter. Each month Danilo receives the NL from Avril, transforms it into an electronic file, creates a text version and a web version and sends it to nearly 8,000 subscribers!

IAHPC side event during the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)

IAHPC sponsored a side event during the 58th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (NCD) in Vienna last month, hosted by the governments of Lithuania and Germany. The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) also cosponsored the event.

The objective of the IAHPC side event was to present the Access to Opioid Medications in Europe (ATOME) report as a model project for other regions. The team and experts of the ATOME project worked for four years in a consortium of 10 academic institutions and public health organizations with country teams in the 12 target countries, including government officials and public health and medicine experts, to carry out legislative and policy reviews. The ATOME project was highlighted in a previous edition of this Newsletter.

The side event was co-chaired by Lukas and Dr. Dainius Puras, Special Rapporteur for Health from the Human Rights Council in Geneva. German Drug Commissioner Marlene Mortier and Gediminas Kliukas, First Secretary of the Republic of Lithuania, greeted the guests. Speakers included Dr. WIllem Scholten who presented the summary of the ATOME project and Dr. Anne Merriman, founder of Hospice Africa Uganda, discussed how ATOME could be adapted to ATOMA (Access to Opioid Medicines Africa).

Some of the key milestones of the ATOME project, include the publication of the revised WHO policy guidelines Ensuring balance in national policies on controlled substances; the implementation of country workshops; and the analysis of the national legislation for the 12 countries. It was a great side event for IAHPC at the 58th Commission on Narcotic Drugs, highlighting the benefits of extensive collaboration between UN treaty bodies, member states, and regional groups

In addition to the IAHPC side event many other things happened at CND, including other side events on access to medicines, and the advocacy efforts implemented to generate awareness about the risk of internationally controlling ketamine and how it would have a negative impact on access to treatment and care. The ATOME side event, and all the other initiatives and outcomes, will be covered by Dr. Katherine Pettus, the IAHPC Advocacy Officer, in the next edition of the Newsletter.

Grantees to World Congress of the EAPC

We are pleased to announce the winners of IAHPC Traveling Scholarships to attend the World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 8-10:

Congratulations to these 11 grantees on their selection – we look forward to meeting them in Copenhagen and to their trip reports!

We received almost 30 applications, which posed many challenges to the selection committee and means that many good candidates had their applications denied. We wish we could have provided more scholarships, but we have limited funds. Hopefully in the future more funding will be available to continue to support individuals that need assistance.

In addition to the grantees listed above, Ms. Josephine Muya, the Admin Assistant of Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) in Nairobi, also received a scholarship to attend the World Congress. KEHPCA received the prize as the institution that helped bring more members to IAHPC in 2014 and KEHPCA designated Ms. Muya as the recipient of this award. She was featured in a previous edition of this Newsletter.

We are very proud to be able to support the development of global palliative care with products, resources and programs such as these. Please help us continue our efforts to achieve our mission, by donating to IAHPC. Donations can be made online through our website or by contacting the IAHPC office at

Until next month,

Lukas Radbruch, MD


Liliana De Lima, MHA

Executive Director

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