Guest Advocacy

2021; Volume 22, No 12, December

Why I Am an IAHPC Advocacy Focal Point

"Thomas Diehl was a hero of mine; he was the best dad, father-in-law and grandfather. Every time cancer put him on his knees, he got up with strength and fought. His positivity and desire to live were incredible. In this majestic photo, he fulfilled his dream of visiting the beach, smelling and feeling the sea breeze. Thanks to the accessible beaches program in Costa Rica, we achieved his great dream!" Photo by Victoria Diehl. Used with permission.

By Victoria Diehl
Curridabat, Costa Rica

It is a pleasure to share with you my experience as a family caregiver and IAHPC Advocacy Focal Point for Costa Rica. I first represented IAHPC at the civil society roundtable with World Health Organization Director General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus in April 2021.

I spoke about being a family caregiver for my dad in one of the few countries that support family caregivers and that has palliative care available through universal health coverage. When my father became terminally ill, I lived firsthand the experience of what palliative care is all about. This experience, plus my training in the health sciences, allowed me to be part of this honorable association.

I believe that the goal of palliative care is to bring light and hope
to every patient and family.

Curridabat has a palliative care unit that is developing interdisciplinary training for more professionals in this great specialty. One of our goals is to do holistic home visits to improve quality of life, with the participation of a doctor, nurse, psychologist, and physical therapist. See the listing for the Asociación Costarricense de Medicina Paliativa y Medicina del Dolor (ASOCMEPD), an IAHPC lifetime member, in the IAHPC Directory.

The IAHPC provides its members with opportunities to continue training and education in the field of palliative care, such as the current Advocacy Course, offered only in English, the language used in most articles, journals, and information. We can encourage the growth of palliative care by offering financial support for translation, so that more people around the world can access and understand the content, regardless of which language they speak. The Web currently offers tools to translate in real time.

These are my goals as an Advocacy Focal Point:

I invite you to join IAHPC and to take the Advocacy Course being created by Katherine Pettus, PhD. Together we can create a solid foundation and foster awareness of palliative care and the creation of strong public policies for patients and their families.

To learn more about the Asociación Costarricense de Medicina Paliativa y Medicina del Dolor (ASOCMEPD) visit the IAHPC Global Directory of Palliative Care Institutions and Organizations.

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