Mark your calendar! On Thursday, November 25 at 3 p.m. Central European Time, IAHPC will lead a Civil Society Roundtable with WHO Executive Director Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus on how the organization can help member states integrate palliative care into national COVID-19 response and preparedness plans.
“This is a very good opportunity to have those conversations with people for whom palliative care is relevant, but may not have palliative care as a core component,” says IAHPC Executive Director Liliana De Lima. “Hopefully, this will lead to more support from both civil society and the WHO, and expand palliative care knowledge and awareness.”
“The roundtable will increase the visibility of palliative care at the highest level,” adds IAHPC Advocacy Officer Katherine Pettus. “It gives us a seat at the table. Please share the event widely among your colleagues.” If you can’t attend, keep your Smartphone handy, as Katherine laughingly (but seriously) promises that “I’ll be tweeting it madly!”
The workshop is cosponsored by the Worldwide Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance and the International Federation on Ageing. Please follow us on Twitter @IAHPC for the live link to join this event.
Dr. Odontuya Davaasuren, founder and president of the Mongolian Palliative Care Society (MPCS), timed the society’s conference to coincide with World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. It was a big week for the society; not only did the conference draw 112 participants, but the society, which is celebrating its 20-year anniversary, also launched its website.
Since 2000, MPCS has worked to integrate palliative care policy into mainstream health care services, create an essential drugs fund, and include palliative care classes in the curricula for undergraduate and postgraduate students, medical doctors, and nurses. The society consists of more than a half-dozen member hospices, and 36 palliative care departments and palliative care wards in all 21 provinces of Mongolia.
Dr. Dingle Spence, the Senior Medical Officer of Jamaica's only dedicated oncology and palliative care unit, and Dr. Natalie Greaves, a founding director of the Barbados Palliative Care Association, collaborated on a four-minute YouTube video as a CARIPALCA statement of support on WHPCD, speaking on the day’s theme: My Care, My Comfort.
“It is with joy and a sense of empowerment that we join...the clarion call of access to palliative care for everyone who needs it,” including those with chronic diseases, says Dr. Spence in the video. “Palliative care in the Caribbean is still woefully inadequate.”
“We join our voices with some of the most vulnerable in society,” says Dr. Greaves. “We join our voices to forcefully say, ‘My Care,’ in the location that I choose, delivered by trained persons in a way that eases my pain, improves my appetite, offers companionship, and recognizes that I am important. ‘My Comfort,’ even to my very last breath... We call on the leaders of our region to remember their commitment to the 2014 World Health Assembly resolution recognizing palliative care as a fundamental aspect of health care.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of events in 2020 have been virtual, with many conferences producing videos or audios of their key presentations that can be accessed afterwards.
In response, IAHPC has decided to revive all 2020 listings in the Calendar of Events, including those removed because the events had passed. Each listing has a link to the event website, giving readers easy access to video and audio resources if or when they become available. There are now 236 listings visible, as of this newsletter’s deadline for publication.
Giving Tuesday, an event chosen to encourage a wellspring of altruism via donations and volunteerism, falls on December 1 this year.
IAHPC will send out two reminders, including one on the day itself. Why wait until Dec. 1 to donate? Because Global Giving, which runs the campaign, often offers matching funds on that day. We don’t yet know whether matching funds will be available again this year, but will let you know when we send the reminder.
Though becoming known as a global day of giving, the date is chosen to follow on the heels of Thanksgiving weekend in the United States, promoted as “opening day of the giving season.”
Global Giving donations are directed to an ongoing IAHPC project, “Education Relieves Serious Health-Related Suffering.”
But you don’t have to wait to donate! You can support IAHPC directly, online, any day of the year right here. It’s always a good day to help fulfill our mission: to build communities of practice and support change to drive demand for palliative care, and to ease serious health-related suffering, especially in those countries with the greatest need. By donating directly, you ensure that every penny of your donation reaches IAHPC, and arrives quickly!
The IAHPC, in collaboration with the Fundación FEMEBA (Federación Médica de Buenos Aires, Argentina) are collaborating on a Global Palliative Care Database (GPCD).
The database, launched in October, allows users to register, analyze, and have access to information (general, demographic, and epidemiological/clinical) about the initial consultations of patients accessing palliative care services, including reasons for referral and prescribed therapeutic interventions.
Users can choose to either see either their own data or collated data, which appear as instantaneous reports that can be downloaded.
Participants must be IAHPC members (join here), be 18 or older, have obtained their institution’s permission to participate, and have patients’ approval to share the data for this study. To enrol, you will need your IAHPC membership number and the email address affiliated to your membership.
Participants will receive a free six-month extension of their membership in gratitude for their contribution and effort to advance global PC.
To learn more about FEMEBA (Federación Médica de Buenos Aires, Argentina), visit the IAHPC Global Directory of Palliative Care Institutions and Organizations.
In October, researchers from the U.S. published a case study that launches a two-step process to label and standardize the term “goals of care.”
As it now stands, Adrienne Klement and Sean Marks posit, the term is “often utilized as a buzz phrase that lacks a shared understanding of its clinical relevance... By labeling medical goals of care in a somewhat reductive, yet tangible manner, we hope to foster more successful protocols and standardization of the process of establishing goals of care.”
Step 1 identifies whether the primary intent of medical interventions should be, in broad terms, to cure, to prolong life, or to focus on comfort.
Step 2 identifies five goals of medical interventions, giving examples of each.
Access the full text.
In other news
The 2020 edition of its Paediatric Palliative Care Service Directory has been launched by the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network. Currently, there are 78 listings of providers, which are searchable by keyword, location, or pediatric service.
Listings give each organization’s contact information, including street address, phone number, email address, website if available. It also lists the services provided and, if a provider has given the information, details of those services.
Learn more about the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network in the IAHPC Global Directory of Palliative Care Institutions and Organizations.
Webinar: Emergencies in Palliative Care. Free to register. 2:30-3:30 p.m. (GMT+8), November 17, 2020. Asia Pacific Hospital Palliative Care Network (APHN).
APPROACH (Asian Patient Perspectives Regarding Oncology Awareness, Care, and Health) Study Webinar. A rerun of this past event, hosted by APHN, will be scheduled in December.
Cuidados Paliativos en América Latina — ECHO. Virtual course. November 3, 2020.
Note: ECHO is a series of virtual monthly meetings with specialists in palliative care, beginning November 3.
Saunders International Annual Lecture 2020. Palliative Care in an Era of COVID-19: Perspectives from three continents. Virtual lecture. November 5, 2020.
End-of-life update for GPs. Virtual Learning. November 18, 2020.
Management Course for StRs and SAS Doctors in Palliative Medicine. Online course. November 23-26, 2020.
Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC). Connections: Life, Death, and Healing During Difficult Times. Webinar. November 14, 2020.
Death Doula Global Summit. Virtual conference. November 16-22, 2020.
Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) 2021 Annual Conference. April 6-10, 2021. Houston, Texas.
Find a workshop, seminar, congress, or conference to interest you in the IAHPC Calendar of Events, updated monthly, that lists activities of special interest to those who work in palliative care. Or submit an event for consideration; it’s free!