IAHPC Grants in Action

2019; Volume 20, No 4, April

IAHPC Grants in Action

The IAHPC accepts grant proposals that aid in the provision and improvement of palliative care, particularly in developing countries. These two examples of successful grant applicants give a glimpse of what can be accomplished.

Expanding Hospice Care in Guatemala for the Youngest and the Poorest

The new, enclosed walkway is filled with light.

Information provided by:
Myriam Rios, Founder and Director
Fundacion AMMAR Ayudando, Guatemala

The grants: An initial grant in 2017 of $USD 15,000; a second grant in 2018 of $USD 20,000.

The project: The first grant added two bedrooms to the hospice, which began with three beds and now has six. The second grant built a bathroom to serve the new bedrooms as well as a ramp, for wheelchair and bed accessibility, and an enclosed walkway that protects patients and care staff moving between the main building and the bedrooms.

The grantee: Fundacion Ammar Ayudando runs Hospice Villa de la Esperanza for those 25 and younger with a prognosis of six months or less. The hospice, which has been operating for 19 years, has a multidisciplinary team that serves the poorest residents of Guatemala, providing all services free of charge. The foundation also holds a yearly congress to educate generations of health professionals.

The impact: Funding is difficult to come by. Although the foundation is supported by two benefactors, additional money was necessary for this expansion. Now, “we will be able to reach more hospitals around the country, and be able to intercept and help more patients from diagnosis to prognosis. Growing in infrastructure was and continues to be important for the Guatemalan community.”

A Flowering of Enthusiasm for the Effectiveness of PC in Haiti

Information provided by:
Dr. Mike Gosey, Tennessee, USA

The grant: $USD921

The project: Lectures at two, four-day Annual Palliative Care Symposia held in two different locations (St. Marc, Mirebalais), organized by Zanmi Lasante University Hospitals, Haiti, to further palliative care knowledge and practices in the region. (A previous grant funded Dr. Gosey’s first trip to Haiti, and the Symposia, for the same purpose a year ago.) Dr. Gosey spent an additional day attending intake rounds at a hospital in Mirebalais.

Health care workers attending the Haiti symposium.

The grantee: Dr. Gosey made a personal pledge to help improve medical care in Haiti, committing to a five-year plan, after his daughter volunteered at a school there.

The impact: “I modified my lectures after feedback from last year to include more clinical scenarios where the residents were challenged to use their new skills to solve a clinical problem, which was highly popular. I also asked residents to present actual cases of cancer patients whose suffering was successfully managed by them after Skype collaboration with me. This was a fantastic teaching tool. They heard of successful results by their own classmates with whom they work in the trenches. As an experienced outsider I carry some clout, but listening to their classmates made the results very real and tangible.

“As I reflect on my visit, I realize that I witnessed real progress in palliative care in Haiti — a change in attitude. Last year the attitude was, ‘ I understand the principles of palliative care, but I haven’t bought into whether it really works.’ This year the attitude was very different: ‘I am convinced that I can relieve the suffering of cancer patients who, in the past, I sadly walked away from in despair because I thought there was nothing I could do. I can and will make a difference. Let’s go!!’ “

To find out more about IAHPC’s Program Support Grants, and our Traveling Scholarships and Traveling Fellowships, please visit our website. Through these programs we support projects and individuals around the world, especially in developing countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

You can contribute to this program and help palliative care workers attend and participate in congresses and courses by donating to the Traveling Scholarships Campaign in the Global Giving website.

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