Volume 23, Number 12: December 2022

IAHPC Grants A New Name & Funding for Diverse Projects

The IAHPC Advocacy and Partnerships Development Program—now renamed the Leadership Development Program, or LEAD—helps fund new projects that are rolled out over two years. In December, five grantees were selected, from Albania, Burkina Faso, Colombia, India, and Zambia.

All applications were reviewed and the winning projects selected by a committee within the IAHPC. Each grant is split into two parts: $1,000 USD in the first year, and up to $1,500 USD in the second year. These are the winning grantees, and their projects:

Irena Laska, Executive Director, Mary Potter Palliative Care Center. Photo used with permission.

Palliative Care for ALL

Family Health Care Association-Mary Potter Palliative Care Center, Korçë, Albania

Goal of the project: Make palliative care an accessible service for all in need in the Korçë region. Palliative care needs to become better known and more easily accessed, especially by those living in remote rural regions, many of whom have no health insurance. Challenges include lack of cooperation by state health institutions, lack of palliative care knowledge locally, and lack of funds to help those in need access palliative care.

 Plan to reach that goal: Meet with public health care institutions and other local actors. Lead a round table discussion with representatives from the institutions, health centers, community organizations, and patients and family members. Discuss the current law on palliative care and the current situation; create “monitoring groups” to keep tabs on palliative care in rural areas and evaluate progress.

Dr. Eric Nagaonlé Somé, GP in charge of palliative care, Good Savoir Medical Clinic. Photo used with permission.

Improving Access To and Rational Use of Essential Palliative Care Medicines in Burkina Faso, with a Focus on Remote Areas

Research and Social Action Group-Good Savior Medical Clinic, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Goal of the project: Make morphine available to treat pain in three regions of the country, in an environment that better facilitates palliative care. Pain needs to be better managed, and pain medications—particularly opioids, which are often discarded due to phobia—need to be more accessible and better supported by the health care community.

Plan to reach that goal: Inform and sensitize those already working and providing care in the field. Follow up by advocating for more palliative care in primary care and scale up the number of palliative care units in more areas of the country: specifically, the cities of Ouagadougou, Koudougou, and Gaoua. Create a national palliative care association, find and fill gaps in palliative care policy and regulatory documents, and support integrating palliative care into primary care.

María Adelaida Córdoba Nuñez, Chair, Board of Directors, ASOCUPAC. Photo used with permission.

Improving Quality Palliative Care Access to Residents in a Remote Area in Magdalena, Colombia

ASOCUPAC (Colombia Palliative Care Association), Cali, Colombia

Goal of the project: To increase access to quality palliative care in the department of Magdalena. For every 100,000 inhabitants there is less than one palliative care service, and the services are concentrated in the capital city, Santa Marta, located at the extreme north of Magdalena.

Plan to reach that goal: Meet and work with local policy makers, members of academia, and civil society partners to implement regional policies that favor the development of palliative care services at different levels of complexity. Develop continuing education in basic palliative care for primary care professionals, as well as educational activities for stakeholders that formulate and dispense opioid medicines. Consult with at least one university to incorporate palliative care education in health sciences undergraduate programs.

Dr. Piyush Gupta, CEO, Cancer Aid Society. Photo used with permission.

National Program on Palliative Care Advocacy & Awareness

Cancer Aid Society, Lucknow, India

Goal of the project: Improve availability of oral morphine by advocating for state governments to implement an amended federal law (the NDPS Act) that permits the provision and use of essential medicines for pain management. Due to lack of awareness, many states continue to follow old, highly restrictive regulations.

Plan to reach that goal: Meet with state government officials to advocate for freedom from pain as a human right issue and a moral responsibility. Conduct Web-based campaigns with the same message, and engage with the National Association of Palliative Care for AYUSH & Integrative Medicine to do outreach.

Dr. Mwate Joseph Chaila, Technical Coordinator, EpiC 3-90 Project, Catholic Relief Services. Photo used with permission.

The Actualization of the Zambia Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance

Zambia Medical Association, Lusaka, Zambia

Goal of the project: To register the Zambia Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance (ZAHPCA) as a Civil Society Organisation with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security in line with the Societies Act by March 2022. Palliative care advocacy has withered since Palliative Care Alliance Zambia closed due to lack of funding. ZAHPCA will provide much-needed advocacy for palliative care integration. 

Plan to reach that goal: Assemble the necessary documents and apply for registration. Build membership, support the establishment of the National Palliative Care Technical Working Group, launch a website and social media accounts, and do ongoing advocacy and education throughout the two years.

New Terms Added to Pallipedia

These recent additions to Pallipedia, IAHPC's online palliative care dictionary, bring the popular resource's list of terms to 1,412 and definitions to 1,788.

Seeking Examples of Essential Medicines Guidelines

The IAHPC seeks examples of best practices manuals to help develop a manual for the pharmacological treatment of most common and distressing symptoms in palliative care, based on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines.

If you use—or know of—a best practices manual that you can recommend to the working group, please submit it using this form by December 15.

The IAHPC has convened an ad hoc committee to undertake this project as part of its agreement of work with the World Health Organization to develop this best practices manual. 

Tidbits: News in brief

A Blueprint to Improve Pediatric Palliative Care

The Institute of Global Health Innovation released a study report in October that offers an “unashamedly optimistic” vision for how to radically improve care for the rapidly growing number of children around the world with life-limiting conditions. 

The Children’s Palliative Care Provider of the Future: A blueprint to spark, scale and share innovation outlines nine critical features of children’s palliative care services, including physical, emotional, and social support for children and their families to ensure the best possible quality of life. Dozens of experts were interviewed for the report, which is free to download.

A frame of the Palliversations video: Dr. Bhagyashree Barlingay tells a patient’s family members about morphine’s history and how it is used responsibly to treat pain. Photo used with permission.

Palliversations Video #2 Tackles Morphine

Palliative care is a new concept to many in India. As with any new concept, there is confusion and misunderstanding surrounding it within both the medical community and the population. “Instead of explaining this new discipline by writing pages of theory, we decided to use storytelling,” explains Dr. Bhagyashree Barlingay, who spearheaded the Palliversations video project funded by Akshaybhasha, a nonprofit organization that she founded in the US that supports the work of Pallium India. 

Palliversations take the form of short plays. In the first two videos, a daughter and her husband are speaking with the doctor (Barlingay) treating their mother, who has metastasized breast cancer. “This way, this complicated matter is simplified and will be able to reach more people,” says Barlingay. “The story depicted is generic, relatable, and meaningful.” There will be six videos in the series. 

The first video, What Is Palliative Care?, delivers news of the mother’s cancer, which has metastasized; the second video, Morphine!, is the second visit with the doctor, who tells them that morphine is the right treatment now for their mother, who is in excruciating pain. The video describes the history, legality, and importance of morphine as a safe medicine to treat pain in palliative care. It includes an interview with a palliative care pharmacist and palliative care physician, and describes the precautions in place for prescribed opioids, including morphine.

Upcoming videos will focus on challenges in practicing palliative care in India, specifically in Maharashtra state, and palliative care in noncancer illnesses, such as dementia and organ failures. 

Reader recommended

Tasks of the multidisciplinary team:

—How IAHPC Member Dr. Lisa Manalo of the Philippines always ends her presentations during grand rounds and conferences

What’s New in the Calendar

“Beyond the Walls.” Webinar. December 8, 2022.

Foundation Course in Palliative Care (FCPC)–Psychosocial Interventions (Basics)–ECHO. Online course. December 7, 2022-January 27, 2023.

Foundation Certificate in Palliative Care. Online course. January 23-April 14, 2023. 

Rehabilitative Palliative Care: Webinar 3. December 12, 2022.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Palliative Care. In-person conference. January 20, 2023, London.

Rehabilitative Palliative Care: Webinar 4. January 24, 2023. 


8th International Conference on Advance Care Planning (ACP-I 2023). In person. May 24-27, 2023.

Access all items in the IAHPC Calendar of Events.

Check the Calendar

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!

Promote Your Courses

Promote your education and training events in the IAHPC Global Directory of Education in Palliative Care. It’s quick and easy — just submit your content online.

Do you have any questions regarding the IAHPC Calendar of Events and IAHPC Directories?

Contact Ms. Julia Libreros

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