August is usually vacation month for many around the world (mostly in the Northern Hemisphere), and like so many others we are both taking some days off. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused so much serious health-related suffering (SHS) around the world, has resulted in additional workloads for many of us in palliative care. We need to take time to recuperate our energy and do some self-care in order to provide support for our membership. We hope that all of you are able to put aside some time to rest and recharge. As many have said, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Last month we closed the Global Palliative Care and COVID-19 Series, a collaborative effort of all the global palliative care organizations — the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN), the Palliative Care in Humanitarian Aid Situations and Emergencies network (PalCHASE), and the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA). We are incredibly grateful to the members of the working group who worked so hard to bring this series to the global palliative care community:
This project, spurred by the pandemic, was a product of the Berlin Declaration, a collaborative undertaking adopted by the directors of the global organizations. The Declaration reflects our agreement to develop a joint agenda and identify areas for collaboration and shared resources. We agreed that our main activities will be advocacy, communications, education, training of health and social care professionals, development of standards and toolkits, and building public awareness.
To give you some idea of the scope and complexity of organizing the Global Palliative Care and COVID-19 series:
Webinars: A total of 14 webinars were produced, involving 58 speakers and 11 respondents. Hundreds of people around the world participated, and time was given at the end of each for participants’ questions. The webinar videos and slides are stored on the WHPCA website.
Briefing Notes: We drafted and published 25 briefing notes on each topic, representing the expertise of 124 authors from 27 countries. The briefing notes are available at globalpalliativecare.org, under “Global Palliative Care and COVID-19 Series.” We cannot show them all, but here is one example:
A special thanks to the following individuals for their invaluable help in organizing the webinars, preparing and designing, and uploading the briefing notes:
We are also incredibly grateful to all contributors of the Global Palliative Care and COVID-19 series for accepting our invitation to participate in this collaborative project. Thank you for all that you are doing within palliative care and, in particular, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In early August, we sent out a short survey requesting your feedback on the series. Your participation is greatly appreciated and will help us to plan future joint projects.
Global Leaders in the Advancement of Palliative Care (GLAD) Program: Last month we announced the Global Leaders in the Advancement of Palliative Care (GLAD) Program and on July 22 sent out a Special Announcement as a reminder. The GLAD program is designed to support palliative care workers from any discipline, who have demonstrated leadership capabilities, and who wish to advance palliative care in their own countries in line with United Nations (UN) Organizations resolutions and commitments and builds on the Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) to increase global palliative care capacity. We encourage palliative care leaders in low- and middle-income countries to apply! Please share news of this initiative with your colleagues and friends. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn how to effectively advocate for palliative care integration in your countries. To apply visit the GLAD Program page.
Until next month,
Lukas Radbruch, MD
Liliana De Lima, MHA