With 271 people signed up by mid-July, the Comprehensive Pain Assessment and Management Course has set an attendance record for IAHPC courses. Available at no cost to members, the course began in June and ended in July, but can still be accessed at any time: downloadable recordings of all nine sessions are available on the IAHPC website.
The course is packed with useful information for palliative care professionals in the fields of medicine, pharmacy, and nursing; it includes—among other topics—which medicines to use for specific types of pain, how to safely switch from one opioid to another, types of co-analgesics and their pros and cons, and non-pharmacological pain relief. Every module is enriched with specifics, including treatment ladders, dosages, and much more.
If you are not yet a member, join us for access to this course and much more, including the current Advocacy Course and an upcoming series on physical symptoms other than pain. A one-year membership is just $20 US for individuals living in countries ranked as low income by the World Bank, $50 for middle-low income countries, $95 for middle-high income countries, and $165 for high income countries. Find your country rank here.
Congratulations to the IAHPC Scholars selected to attend the 7th Public Health Palliative Care International Conference taking place from September 20-23, 2022. Meet the winners:
Natalia Carafizi, from Chisinau, Moldova, is a family physician and executive director of Foundation Hospice Angelus Moldova.
As a palliative care pioneer in Moldova, Natalia works for the only institution in the country that offers, promotes, teaches, develops, supports, manages, and maintain high standards of palliative care in the country. She has spent 21 years working in the field at Hospice Moldova, and “brilliantly combines clinical management of the patients, including children, with managerial and service organizational activities,” Valerian Isac wrote in his letter of support. She is also eager to learn more and has proven to be skilled at sharing her knowledge, he added.
Gerla Koleci, from Korçë, Albania, is a hematologist and palliative care doctor at the Mary Potter Palliative Center, which is part of the Family Healthcare Association.
Palliative care was introduced in Albania in 1993, the same year that the Mary Potter Palliative Center was founded. The center is devoted to cancer patients of all ages, and she works with cancer patients both at the center and at home. Her 18 years of experience includes training doctors, nurses, and other health care specialists in palliative care both nationally and internationally, using a variety of educational activities and programs, including lectures and practical experience.
Irena Laska, from Korçë, Albania, is a palliative care nurse and executive director at the Family Healthcare Association.
Twenty-three years ago, Irena turned down a university lecturer job because she loved nursing patients and helping their families. She still does, but has added several administrative roles to her palliative care resumé, including helping to organize the first palliative care conference in Albania and helping to establish the Albanian Palliative Care Association as general secretary. “Working as an active nurse and manager of a center that provides palliative care for terminally ill patients brings me in frequent contact with them,” she says. “As a result, the knowledge gained in the event will be of service to those most in need. It will help improve the quality of each treatment, and increase my confidence in advocating for the further development of palliative care in Albania.”
Liza C. Manalo, a medical doctor from Pasig, Manila, Philippines, serves as a consultant and faculty member of Far Eastern University-Nicanor Reyes Medical Center.
The Philippines recently passed the National Integrated Cancer Control Act and Universal Health Care laws. In response, says Liza, who has 15 years’ experience teaching palliative care, “We are actively collaborating with the country's Department of Health to do modules for the education and training of health care workers in the community and primary care. I have to admit that, as a teacher, my exposure to primary care has been minimal. I hope to learn more about care provision in this setting and how to better advocate for policies to improve access to palliative care at all levels of the health care system.”
At the conference, Liza will give an oral presentation, “Bayanihan: The cultural Practice That Turns Health Care Workers & Ordinary Filipinos into Heroes during the Pandemic,” and have a poster on view, “Talking about Death to Advanced Cancer Patients: Not If, But How.”
It’s summer but not vacation time at IAHPC, which is preparing many initiatives, including a member survey and a new course.
A future issue of the IAHPC Newsletter will focus on medical aid in dying (MAiD)/physician-assisted suicide (PAS). As a first step, members will soon receive a survey asking for feedback on the topic.
“With MAiD/PAS legislation becoming increasingly prevalent in Canada and other countries,” says IAHPC Executive Director Liliana De Lima, “we would like to discuss its actual and potential impact as it relates to palliative care and people who have serious health-related suffering as well as the professionals involved in their care.
“Once we hear from our members, we will analyze the responses and invite commentary from experts from countries that already have, or are considering, legalizing MAiD/PAS.”
The IAHPC is an international organization that is only permitted to comment on national policies when we are invited to do so. In 2017, we published a position paper on the ethics of euthanasia and PAS, stating that “euthanasia and PAS undermine the integrity of the profession and the dedication to safeguard human life. The IAHPC […] respect[s] individual opinions regarding euthanasia and PAS while stressing the responsibility of all societies to provide care for their most vulnerable citizens, including the older, terminally ill, the ethnic minorities, the mentally ill, the children, and the disabled. A major component in achieving this is the establishment of palliative care within the mainstream health care systems of all countries.”
Another IAHPC initiative is a new online course, that will be available free to members, on the assessment and treatment of physical symptoms other than pain. The course is currently being prepared and is expected to launch in October.
The deadline for organizations and institutions to apply for IAHPC Advocacy and Partnership Development Program (APAD) is August 30, 2022. Successful applicants receive mentoring by the IAHPC for two years, a $1,000 US grant in the first year, and a second grant of up to $1,500 US in the following year. APAD is designed to advance palliative care by providing seed money to palliative care organizations and institutions aspiring to build capacity and constructive partnerships. The aim is to improve policies that lead to better service provision in their countries or districts.
The deadline has been extended to August 31 to apply for one of 10 IAHPC Scholarships for the Latin American Palliative Care Congress taking place November 9-12, 2022, in San José, Costa Rica.
Apply online (scroll to the bottom of the page, then click on “Apply for an IAHPC Scholarship Program”). You must be, or become, an IAHPC member in order to apply. Memberships start at $20 US for individuals living in low-income countries.
IAHPC lifetime member Bhagyashree (Shree) Barlingay (USA) is creating a series of YouTube videos called “Palliversations.” The videos are a tool for medical professionals, and a source of information about palliative care for the general public. The goal is to inform and aid both groups.
The first video now online, titled “What Is Palliative Care?”, uses a Zoom meeting skit to demonstrate one way to break bad news to family members when the patient is not present. The 18-minute video begins with the doctor telling two adult children that their mother has been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, and follows the conversation to its end. It includes interviews with palliative care doctors, including Pallium India’s Dr. M.R. Rajagopal, and defines and explains the purpose of palliative care and how it differs from routine medical care.
Upcoming videos are on “the goodness of morphine,” says Barlingay. The project is sponsored by Akshaybhasha, an Arizona-based nonprofit.
IAHPC member Kenfack Fulbert (Cameroon) sent word of the 6th edition of the Cameroon Caregiver and Palliative Care Conference (COCASP) taking place in Ebolowa from August 25-27, 2022. The theme is “Healing Hearts, Healing Communities. Palliative Care: It’s everybody’s business.” The deadline to submit an abstract is August 10, 2022. The conference is in French.
A blend of seminars, workshops, roundtables, and displays are planned, as well as a march to sensitive the public to the importance of palliative care and an awards gala showcasing artistic and cultural performances representing all regions of the country.
Financial protection for households is a component of universal health coverage, which includes palliative care. Earlier this year, IAHPC member Dr. Maya Jane Bates (Malawi) presented her research findings on palliative care and poverty reduction at the EAPC Research conference.
“We proposed that out-of-pocket costs could be reduced by controlling symptoms and through patient-centred communication, reducing need for non-beneficial care.” Findings are summarized in a four-minute YouTube video enlivened with illustrations.
Bates’s study, conducted in Malawi, showed that 64% of households experienced catastrophic out-of-pocket costs six months after a diagnosis of advanced cancer. These were found to be reduced where households had received palliative care (47% of households), however access remained a key challenge, with only one in five households receiving palliative care.
IAHPC member Dr. Billy Rosa (USA) is part of a group of New York-based university researchers who want to learn more about the experience of LGBTQ+ persons and their spouses/partners from around the world. LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning) people experience several barriers to timely and inclusive provision of care for serious illness.
You are invited to take this 15-minute survey if:
No personal information is required. Please forward the survey’s URL to colleagues, family, and friends who may be able to contribute to this work that will promote equity and inclusion in serious illness, hospice and palliative care through future evidence-based training for health workers. The research is a collaboration between researchers at Yeshiva University and Fordham University.
Palliative Care New South Wales Biennial State Conference. In person. November 3-5, 2022, Terrigal.
Cameroon Conference for Accompaniment and Palliative Care (COCASP 2022). “Healing Hearts, Healing Communities." Palliative Care: Everyone's Business. In person. August 25-27, 2022, Ebolowa.
Palliative Care in North India. Tour. February 26-March 12, 2023, India.
Principles and Practice of Palliative and End-of-Life Care for Registered Nurses, Nursing Associates, and Allied Health Professionals. Virtual course. September 6-8, 2022.
From Cradle to Grave: “Insights into inequalities, systems of care and their impact on end of life.” Virtual symposium. September 12, 2022.
Advance Care Planning Reconsidered. Virtual course. September 14, 2022.
Motor Neurone Disease: Power in Partnership. Virtual conference. September 16, 2022.
Reaching the Forgotten. In-person conference. September 22, 2022, London.
Dispelling the Suffering of the World. Virtual course. September 10-November 19, 2022.
Access all items in the IAHPC Calendar of Events.
Promote your education and training events in the IAHPC Global Directory of Educational Programs in Palliative Care. It’s quick and easy — just submit your content online.
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