October is the IAHPC Members’ Recognition Month. The objective is to build awareness and understanding of the vital function that our members play in the advancement of our mission, as well as to formally acknowledge their support. Every year we give two prizes to members in the categories ‘Recognizing loyalty’, for keeping their memberships active, and ‘Increasing membership’ for bringing the highest number of new or renewed members.
This year’s winner of the ‘Increasing membership’ award, Dr. Alick Kayange from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, tells us about his career and how he thinks IAHPC is helping him to advance his efforts in the development of palliative care in his country.
I’m a physician and hold an M.Phil in International Community Health from the University of Oslo; a post-graduate certificate (PGcert) in Global Tuberculosis Epidemiology and Intervention from the University of Bergen, and a PGcert in Paediatric Palliative Care, University of South Wales).
Currently, I work as Head of Medical Research and Publications at PASADA (Pastoral Activities and Services for People with AIDS), which is a faith-based organization striving to reach the poorest of the poor living with HIV/AIDS. Before that, I worked as the Head of Pediatric HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Section (PHACTs). Special thanks to my mentor in palliative care, Dr. Frank Manase, who showed me the way in palliative care, and to PASADA’s Family-Centered (FCC) task force for their support. As Head of PHACTs, I was able to reach hundreds of children and their families with palliative care services. I’d testify to the importance of family-centered palliative care – it’s magic as it turns hopeless lives to lives full of hope.
My first encounter with palliative care was a hallmark of my future career in medicine. I was very fortunate to receive grants, including two from the International Association for Palliative Care (IAHPC), which enabled me to attend four world congresses organized by the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) where I had the opportunity to present my work to a wide international audience. The work that I presented included: ‘Misuse of spiritual care as set-back in drug adherence in patient with chronic illnesses: Case observation from a HIV positive child in Tanzania’ (Copenhagen, Denmark, 2015); ‘Use of psychosocial activities as a non pharmacological management among orphaned children living with HIV/AIDS’ (Lleida, Spain, 2014); and ‘Multiple nation originality as “a challenge in managing a child with HIV/AIDS”’ (Prague 2013).
I would like to thank the board of directors, officers and staff members of IAHPC for selecting me as a winner of the prize for the IAHPC members’ recognition month. Recognition of effort means a great deal to me personally, and IAHPC’s financial support through traveling scholarships has really helped me to take the work that we are doing in Tanzania to a much wider audience, and to share experiences and knowledge with colleagues from across the world.