Last month the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) met in Geneva. Civil society was well represented by delegates of the IAHPC and the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA). The relentless work and commitment of the delegates of all organizations to bring palliative care issues to the floor and to discussions has resulted in the inclusion of palliative care language in WHO fora.
There is still a lot of work to do; we make progress in some WHO documents, while other areas remain challenging. We have to keep beating the drum and are very grateful to Dr. Katherine Pettus and Dr. Stephen Connor for their extraordinary efforts, commitment, and amazing energy. Katherine has more information about the WHO EB in her Policy & Advocacy Report, as well as information about upcoming meetings of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna and the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing.
At the close of 2018, several Board members completed their terms: Drs. Sushma Bhatnagar from India, Rosa Buitrago from Panama, Eric Krakauer from the USA, Mhoira Leng from Uganda, Esther Cege Munyoro from Kenya, and Dang Huy Quoc Thinh from Vietnam. Please join us in thanking them for their contributions to IAHPC and their efforts in helping the organization achieve its mission. All of them are committed to the development of hospice and palliative care in their countries and beyond, and have contributed extensively to its growth in the past two decades. Their contributions have also made the IAHPC stronger. It has been an honor for us to have worked with these members of the Board. Later this month the Board will elect new directors and will welcome new members; keep your eyes open for the announcement!
In February, the IAHPC will be collaborating with the Latin American Association for Palliative Care (ALCP) and the University of Miami in launching the Lancet Report in Central American countries. The meeting, being hosted by Panama’s Ministry of Health, will include ministers from all countries in the region as well as representatives of civil society organizations. We will spend two very enriching days with colleagues from Central America and hope that this will result in the uptake of recommendations made in the Lancet Report. We are deeply grateful to the Minister of Health of Panama and the President of the Panama Society for Palliative Care for hosting and supporting this meeting. We will report on the results of the meeting in the March Newsletter.
This year, the German Association for Palliative Medicine (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Palliativmedizin, or DGP) celebrates its 25th anniversary. Lukas is the current president of the Association (in addition to his current role as Chair of the IAHPC!) and has led its growth, with the support of directors, building on the foundation and excellent work of past presidents and members. To mark the anniversary the EAPC has published a blog by Lukas. Join us in congratulating all the members and the people who have served over the years.
Until next month,
Lukas Radbruch, MD
Chair, Board of Directors
Liliana De Lima, MHA