Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education

by International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC)
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Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Improve Quality of Life -Palliative Care Education
Theodora and Alick from Tanzania
Theodora and Alick from Tanzania

In May 2017 the IAHPC awarded 28 scholarships to individuals from Armenia, Cameroon, Chilie, Colombia, Georgia, Kenya, Lithuania, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. These scholarships allowed them to participate in the 15th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care in Madrid, Spain conducted on May 18-20, 2017.

Theodora, a Senior Pharmacy Technician and Alick, a CEO of a medical centre, pictured here are 2 of the scholarship recipients from Tanzania.

On behalf of our scholarship recipients and the entire IAHPC team, thank you for your generosity and making the Travel Scholarship Program possible.

Warm regards,
IAHPC Team

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Edita from Lithuania
Edita from Lithuania

Edita an internist from Lithuania recently received a Traveling Scholarship to attend 15th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care in Madrid, Spain on May 18-20, 2017.

Edita describes her experiences with “hidden patients” and their role palliative care.

She states “Many people question me why I chose to work with palliative patients. Why such a young person is working with serious, incurable patients? I believe my choice was due to the fact that I was in the same side as the patient … Then I realized that many doctors are not ready to cooperate closely and work with the patient, with his family … when a person stands at the brink of eternity, he or she needs support, [and] compassion … Death is a unique process that causes the emotion, leaving a deep mark on the life of the loved ones. Overcoming the last phase of life can be very difficult, so the patient and his family need help ... it is very important to help the relatives cherish the lasts days as much as possible … The ones, who work in health care, frequently do not see people, who are close to the sick ones. That is why they are called, “hidden patients”. When they [the hidden patients] see people, who suffer or feel pain, sometimes they think they are useless… hidden patients encounter enormous pressure, so for this reason they also need people, who can help them…”

From the entire IAHPC team, thank you for your generosity and making the Travel Scholarship Program possible.

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Nahla from Sudan
Nahla from Sudan

Nahla is a physician in Sudan. We asked her to provide us with a brief piece on how she started in palliative care. She states that her “first encounter with palliative care was when a palliative care nurse volunteered to teach the nurses in her hospital. She proposed four lectures on nursing oncology and four lectures in palliative care. At that moment I was wondering what was there in palliative care to say in four lectures!

I accompanied her translating to the nurses from English to Arabic, and … became … aware of the need for palliative care. As I visited with her the wards, the lack of care, and basics of explanation to the patients and family struck me.

The palliative care nurse encouraged me to attend Hospice Africa Uganda, Initiators Course. It…was the IAHPC who sponsored me partially (to attend) … in October 2009. In February 2010 we started the first palliative care referral clinic, properly at the main oncology center, where I worked. Our relations with IAHPC grew stronger and stronger as we increased in our work and covered more patients.”

Nahla received a Traveling Scholarship to attend the 5th International Palliative Care Conference of the African Palliative Care Association in Kampala, Uganda, August 16-19 2016. However she found another source of funding to attend the conference which allowed another physician in Sudan, Shaima, to receive the scholarship to attend the conference in Kampala.

As a result of her act of kindness, Nahla qualified to receive a Traveling Scholarship in 2017 to attend the 15th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care.


From the entire IAHPC team, thank you for your generosity.

Shaima from Sudan
Shaima from Sudan

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Nguyen
Nguyen

Nguyen is a physician from Vietnam explains what made him apply for an IAHPC Traveling Scholarship to the US.

He is a palliative care physician and oncologist from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In October 2016, he received an IAHPC Traveling Scholarship grant to attend the first part of the Palliative Care Education and Practice (PCEP) program at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts, US, a course that is designed for palliative care clinical and education leaders.

We asked Nguyen to tell us about more about his experiences . . .

Why did you apply for an IAHPC grant?

Nguyen: I work full time in the palliative care department of a cancer hospital and am responsible for clinical care and teaching. I realize the importance of communication skills – for sharing information with my patients and their families, for teaching medical students and younger physicians during their placements in our palliative care department, and for my lectures on the palliative care basic training program held each year at our hospital. However, I lack confidence in my communication and teaching skills, since we had no specific training for these in medical school. I thought that the PCEP would give me the skills to improve my efficiency as well as to share my knowledge with other palliative care practitioners.

What new knowledge and skills have you acquired so far?

Nguyen: I attended the first part of the PCEP in October/November 2016. Topics such as Communication, Teaching Skills, Developing a Program, Pain and End-of-Life Care were very relevant to my practice. But what I enjoyed most was getting the emotional cues when we are sharing information about disease, prognosis and treatment plans with patients and/or their families. In Vietnam, physicians don’t usually have much time to talk to patients, and we almost always ignore any emotional responses that we encounter. Thus, physicians, patients and families are often not at the same level of understanding about what we share and how we feel. PCEP has made me realize the importance of emotional cues and that inappropriate responses may lead to communication failures. But now, I’ve developed some essential communication skills such as exploring psychosocial issues, or reflection. I hope that these skills will help me to develop better conversations with patients and families and increase their trust in me, which will lead to improved care for patients and their families. I will share these skills with my students and colleagues so they too can understand the importance and necessity of emotional cues and will know how to respond appropriately.

What are the main challenges that you face in the provision of palliative care in Vietnam?

Nguyen: Many patients are diagnosed with cancer in the advanced stages; more than 80 percent of patients are no longer candidates for cancer treatment of whom over 50 percent have moderate to severe pain. Most of these patients do not have access to palliative care and their pain is not assessed or treated adequately, let alone other physical and psychosocial problems.

This causes increased burden and worry for patients and their families/caregivers. As palliative care’s influence grows in our country, more people realize the importance of symptom control and psychosocial issues, yet we still have many barriers and challenges:

  • Lack of essential medicines – many essential palliative care medications are still unavailable, such as megestrol acetate, methylphenidate and the only oral opioid is morphine.
  • Lack of public and professional awareness – palliative care is still very new in Vietnam, thus many concepts and treatments may not be well understood by patients, caregivers and physicians.
  • Lack of specialist staff – our palliative care department has only physicians and nurses; we do not have other specialists such as a social worker or a psychologist.


Do you have any tips that may help to overcome these challenges?

Nguyen : The first step is to get a greater understanding of palliative care concepts through teaching and training. I hope that with improved teaching skills I can better share my knowledge and inspire other healthcare workers to see the necessity and meaning of our work. I’m particularly interested in how to create tension in teaching sessions. This skill is so important because many people still don’t understand what palliative care is and why they should do it. If I can create tension, participants will be more interested in what I teach and my lectures will be less boring and more efficient.I hope my students will develop palliative care programs in their own institutions and hospitals, join a palliative care department, or at least apply what they have learned to provide better care for their patients.

As the number of palliative care practitioners grows in our country, and more people become aware of the same issues that I have now, then our voices and actions will bring greater influence.

Nguyen will return to Massachusetts in April/May 2017 to complete the final stage of the Harvard Medical School's Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice.

From the entire IAHPC team, thank you for your generosity.

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Abiola from Nigeria
Abiola from Nigeria

As 2017 begins, it is time to reflect on the IAHPC’s accomplishments and impact in 2016. So we turn to our Traveling Scholars. The IAHPC Traveling Scholarship program provides financial support to palliative care professionals from developing countries who wish to continue their education by attending a meeting, conference, seminar, workshop, internship, or in any other educational activity.

In 2016 the IAHPC supported 65 palliative care professionals from around the world to attend a meeting, conference, seminar, internship, or some form of an educational activity. Forty-three percent of our Traveling Scholarship recipients were from Africa, 22% from South America, 15% from Central America, 12% from Asia, 6% from the Caribbean and 2% from North America.

The IAHPC Team finds inspiration from our scholars who attended the 5th Internal African Palliative Care Conference in Uganda, which deepens our commitment to continue to advance palliative care throughout the world.

“We must make palliative care services available as air”.
Abiola from Ilorin, Nigeria quoting the former Uganda Minster of Health

“My patients are the greatest beneficiaries of my newly acquired knowledge and skills”
Andrew from East Coast Demerara, Guyana

“I have learnt … that no effort is too small and no challenge is too great to overcome.”
Anita from Kumasi, Ghana

“I now feel more confident and well equipped to advocate for … those in need (to) have access.”
Mildred from Harare, Zimbabwe

“My plan of action going forward is to advocate for the rights of children who have no voice.”
Penelope from Johannesburg, South Africa

From the entire IAHPC team, thank you for your generosity.

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