Photographs of hospice patients from all over Africa filled the two huge screens on either side of the speakers’ table in the plenary hall of the APCA/HPCA conference.
These photographs are intended to remind delegates that the journey of patients are the reason for this conference and for all hospice and palliative care work.
Dr Liz Gwyther, Chief Executive of HPCA, announced the exciting award of a $50 million grant from USAID to implement the project: Care and Support for Improved Patient Outcomes to a great reception by delegates.
Dr Allison Russell from USAID South Africa spoke about progress, challenges and lessons for the future of children’s palliative care in the country.
A very powerful video message of support for the conference was sent by Princess Dina of Jordan, herself the mother of a child who survived cancer. The Princess told delegates that palliative care is not a luxury, but an essential service, part of treatment and a human right.
Breakaway sessions followed the plenaries, covering topics from:
- the integration of palliative care into health systems
- mobilising patient voices to shape the palliative care funding agenda
- awareness of the journey of the caregiver and
- how to search online for support sources for compassion fatigue.
The afternoon session was taken up by interactive workshops on ensuring patient access to care
- spirituality in palliative care
- integrating palliative care
- understanding the supply chain for medications
- engaging the media and legal and human rights issues in palliative care.
The day ended with an informal dinner with excellent entertainment by ‘The Drum Café’ encouraging academics and health care professionals alike onto stage to join in the dancing.
Keep reading ehospice for continued conference coverage, including plenary session summaries by guest reporter, Maddy French, winner of the APCA Palliative Care Journalist Award for Africa.