This past month many great things happened:
Last month, the 68th 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. During this past WHA the first ever side event on palliative care for children took place. The side event was organized by the Permanent Missions of Panama, Chile, Italy and Spain at the motivation of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN). Congratulations to Joan Marston, the Chief Executive of ICPCN, the trustees and all its staff members for this achievement and for their relentless efforts in advancing palliative care for children throughout the globe.
We are very proud to collaborate closely with ICPCN as well as share some great leaders: Professor Julia Downing, one of our board members is the Director of Education and Research at ICPCN.
Also attending the 68th WHA was Dr. Eric Krakauer, one of the IAHPC Board Members representing IAHPC. He participated in several sessions and made a great intervention about the role of early integration of palliative care in cancer control.
On May 7th, we had our Board of Directors’ meeting in Copenhagen, the day before the World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) started.
During the meeting we presented and discussed our Annual Report from 2014, analyzed ways in which IAHPC might help to better serve its purpose and mission, and also presented several of the current programs and projects the organization is working on. We are very grateful to the directors who attended and provided valuable feedback and suggestions.
As in previous EAPC Congresses, we had an IAHPC stand in the exhibit area during the World Congress where our officers, Ana Restrepo and Lina Rozo, were at the table helping, answering questions, providing information and enrolling new members. We raffled an iPad for individuals who joined or renewed during the congress and the winner was Dr. Aleskandra Lemieszek from Poland. Congratulations to Dr. Lemieszek on winning this prize!
In addition to Ana and Lina, Dr. Ebtseman (Sammi) Ahmed, Pharm D, was at the stand recruiting new participants for the second phase of the IAHPC Opioid Price Watch Project. Sammi worked very hard during the breaks and was extremely helpful in informing people about the project and recruiting over 30 participants! We will be contacting all those who signed soon with instructions on how to participate!
Below are some pictures of the IAHPC Traveling Scholarship grantees and board members at the congress as well as some pictures from our stand. In the next edition we will feature the reports from the grantees, including what they considered were the highlights of the congress.
Pictured in the photo the IAHPC Traveling Scholarship grantees and several IAHPC directors:
1. Gera Koleci, MD (Albania)
Pictured at the IAHPC stand in the exhibit hall: IAHPC Traveling Scholarship grantees and IAHPC volunteers and staff members:
1. Sammi Ahmed, PharmD (USA, volunteer)
2. Juan Carlos Hernandez, MD (Colombia, IAHPC grantee)
3. Ana Maria Restrepo, IAHPC Operations Officer
4. Sabrina Carvajalino, MD (Colombia, IAHPC grantee)
5. André Felipe Junequira dos Santos (Brazil, IAHPC grantee)
6. Lina Rozo, IAHPC Finance Officer
We were very proud to have the visit of two WHO officers who are responsible for the implementation of the WHA Palliative Care Resolution!
On a sad note, we learned of the death of Bethia Doyle, the wife of Dr. Derek Doyle. Derek is one of the founders of IAHPC and a lifetime board member. Bethia died on April 28, 2015, at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in Scotland. She and Derek had four children: Barbara, Elizabeth, Alan and Peter and five grandchildren. We are very sorry for their loss and send our condolences to the family during these sad times.
Until next month,
Lukas Radbruch, MD
Liliana De Lima, MHA