Last month in the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) met in Geneva to discuss the proposed WHO General Programme of Work (GPW13) which now includes very strong palliative care language. The GPW was approved on 27 January 2018 and we are very, very grateful to Panama, Peru, and Portugal for their strong statements in favor of the inclusion of palliative care in the strategic plan. This great achievement was thanks to fantastic advocacy efforts from civil society, including representatives from the IAHPC delegation and the WHPCA delegation to Geneva. Many thanks to all for your dedication and excellent participation!
Next month, taking advantage that the 25th Annual Conference of the Indian Association for Palliative Care (IAPC) will take place on 23-25 February in New Delhi, IAHPC will be hosting, in partnership with the IAPC, a workshop on the availability and rational use of opioids in India. Both of us as well as Dr. Jim Cleary from the Pain and Policy Studies Group at the University of Wisconsin, IAHPC Board Member Professor Sushma Bhatnagar, as well as other palliative care leaders from India will be there facilitating. The workshop will focus on the implementation of the NDPS Act Amendment, which eliminated many barriers in the national law that unduly interfered with legitimate access to opioids to patients in need, and still has to be implemented in several States in India. We will be working with State Drug Regulators and Nodal Officers and palliative care and pain specialists. The response to our invitation has been extremely positive and we are looking forward to being there and to this opportunity. We will report on the progress and outcomes in the next edition. In this issue, we have Dr. M.R. Rajagopal’s interim report on his efforts to encourage implementation of the Amendment.
In this message we also wish to highlight three great IAHPC resources that we offer in our website applicable in all settings. They are:
Getting Started — Guidelines and Suggestions for Those Starting a Hospice / Palliative Care Service, 2nd edition, by Derek Doyle. Getting Started answers all the most commonly asked questions. It stresses what not to do as much as what to do. It is free of jargon and is honest about the challenge that faces those ‘getting started.’
IAHPC Manual of Palliative Care, 3rd edition, by Derek Doyle and Roger Woodruff. The IAHPC is conscious of the fact that in many countries palliative care textbooks and practice manuals are expensive or difficult to obtain. With this in mind, the authors updated the 3rd edition of the IAHPC Manual of Palliative Care, which is offered for free to the global palliative care community. The IAHPC offers this manual in the hope that doctors and nurses worldwide will find the information helpful, feel free to download whatever parts of it they want, and make its existence known to colleagues also seeking to improve their skills so as to offer better care to their terminally ill patients.
Pallipedia, the free online dictionary edited by Dr. Roberto Wenk, past chair of IAHPC. This edition features an interview to Dr. Wenk by Alison Ramsey, senior editor of the IAHPC Newsletter. The IAHPC hopes that these publications and Pallipedia will help to increase access to knowledge that will lead to better care for thousands of people with palliative care needs.
January marked the deadline for the applications for IAHPC Traveling Scholarships to attend the 10th World Research Congress of the EAPC in Bern, Switzerland on 23-26 May 2018, and scholarships to the 3rd ICPCN Conference in Durban, South Africa on 30 May-2 June 2018. We have received many applications, so selecting the grantees will be a difficult task. The grantees will be announced next month — many thanks to all those who participated for their enthusiasm!
Until next month,
Lukas Radbruch, MD
Chair, Board of Directors
Liliana De Lima, MHA