September 13, 2019
Last month from the 1st-4thAugust 2019, the Asia Pacific Hospice Conference was held in Surabaya. Those of us who were able to make it there would agree that it was a wonderful outing learning new things and meeting new friends. Colleagues from Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia shared their knowledge and experience through the preconference workshop on children’s palliative care on the 1stAug and the CPC session on the 4thAug. On the first day (run by an all Malaysian crew), Dr Khoo Boon Hock took us through his novel yet effective button communication techniques. Dr Lee Chee Chan laid the foundation to understand adolescent grief through stories, before Ms Reena Clare (art psycho-therapist) highlighted the utility of various art media in facilitating healing. Participants then took turns moving around to experience all three interventions first hand. We returned in the afternoon and tapped Dr Chng Gaik Siew’s rich experience in genetics, particularly its interface with palliative care. The productive Dr Lee Chee Chan capped the day’s workshop with his opinion on the place of palliative care in paediatric neurology, cardiology, and nephrology. On the last day of the conference, Dr Ho Tzong Shiann (Taiwan) gave tips on how CPC physicians could work effectively with paediatric sub-specialty colleagues, while Dr Edi Tehuteru (Indonesia) offered his perspectives on oncologic emergencies. Dr Komal Tewani (Singapore) then highlighted the emerging field of perinatal palliative care, citing her own experience setting up a service with colleagues from Obstetrics and Neonatology. The Paediatric Palliative Care Special Interest Group huddled for a networking session on the 3rdAug (Sat) afternoon. Over the span of two hours, we updated each other about our individual progress and challenges. It was agreed that we should work even more closely, given our small numbers and catching up that needs to be done. Dr Poh Heng Chong Chairperson of the Paediatric Palliative Care Special Interest Group for the APHN and Medical Director, HCA Hospice Care, Singapore will be keeping everyone updated as to some new projects to be launched. In the meantime, stay safe and grounded, keep up the amazing work that you do.