Experts from All Over Eurasia Come Together to Ivano-Frankivsk to Discuss Best Practices in Palliative Care

17 October 2017

On October 17–18, the international conference “Palliative Care Practices in the Eurasian Region. Experience Exchange” is hosted in Ivano-Frankivsk. The event is attended by representatives of the World Health Organization, Healthcare Ministry of Ukraine, Europe and Central Asia department of “Human Rights Watch”, Open Society Foundation as well as experts in palliative care from 9 countries.

The international conference “Palliative Care Practices in the Eurasian Region. Experience Exchange” is an expert platform for the exchange of views and best practices in palliative care. The development of a proper palliative care system is supported by the Healthcare Ministry of Ukraine. Palliative care will be part of the state-funded package of healthcare services guaranteed to each citizen.

Despite intensive efforts, Ukraine is only starting its progress in this field. The country has only few special medical and social palliative care facilities as well as only seven mobile palliative care units for patients who are treated at home; normally, it is too problematic to obtain painkillers. It is out task to implement best practices in palliative care in Ukraine jointly with doctors and nurses, social workers and psychologists, chaplains and volunteers, human rights activists and civil activists. We support training activities in chronical pain treatment, communication with patients and their relatives as well as in core principles of palliative care philosophy.

The program initiative “Public Health” of the International Renaissance Foundation supports civil society initiatives which contribute to the development of the palliative care system, protection of the rights of persons suffering from life-limiting illnesses, guaranteeing the right for appropriate painkilling treatment and proper conditions of life till the moment of departure.

“It is not a coincidence that Ukraine and Ivano-Frankivsk have become a platform for discussions on palliative care in the Eurasian region. On the one hand, Ukraine has launched a comprehensive healthcare reform with the build-up of a modern palliative care system being one of its priorities. That is why, Ukraine can serve as an example and also inspire reforms in many other countries in the Eurasian region. On the other hand, Ivano-Frankivsk region was one of the first partners of Renaissance Foundation in promoting modern palliative care, and the year 2017 marks the 20th anniversary for Ivano-Frankivsk regional clinical palliative care centre. The hospice in Ivano-Frankivsk was the first facility in Ukraine combining all types of care including care at home, mobile care unit, hospital treatment and round-o-clock care. Thus, it set an example in the comprehensive support and care for patients and their families”, says Victoria Tymoshevska, Director of the program initiative “Public Health” of the International Renaissance Foundation.

Maria Golovanevska, representative of the Eurasian Program of the Open Society Foundation: “within the Eurasian Program of the Open Society Foundations, we have the honour to cooperate with the International Renaissance Foundation to jointly organize the annual regional conference on palliative care. The Open Society Foundation has a long record in supporting palliative care in Eurasia, and it is really exciting to see dynamics in the development of palliative care in this region which is gaining momentum now. This conference is an opportunity to present achievements, experience and best practices from different countries. This is also an opportunity to learn about common problems still present in the region in regard to the comfort, affordability and quality of the painkilling treatment”.

Dr. Ludmyla Andriishyn, head of the organizational committee of the conference: “We have two days to exchange best practices in palliative care between healthcare managers, doctors, social workers and human rights activists. Experience exchange offers us an opportunity to analyze the mechanisms of the effective application of the valid norms and regulations, enables the participants to improve their own systems and services in palliative care, makes it possible to implement relevant standards in research, education and practical work in the field of palliative care. The conference also marks the Global Day of Palliative Care and the 20th anniversary of the palliative care service in Ivano-Frankivsk region. The participants of the conference are international experts and professionals from different countries who have a significant experience in palliative care or are planning to gain it”.

The key speakers of the conference:

  • Jerzy Jarosz, representative of St. Christopher oncological hospice (Warsaw, Poland), WHO advisor;
  • Tanya Cooper, research assistant of the Europe and Central Asia department of “Human Rigths Watch”;
  • Victoria Tymoshevska, Director of the program initiative “Public Health” of the International Renaissance Foundation;
  • Ludmyla Andriishyn, leading palliative care specialist in Ivano-Frankivsk region;
  • Eva Movsepyan, coordinator of the CAHD Program, Institute for Child and Juvenile Health (Armenia);
  • Nigora Abidzhonova, director of the program “Public Health, Migration and Economic Development”, Open Society Foundation, Tajikistan.

There will be several specialized sections working as part of the conference:

  • Balanced approaches to the drug policy in the Eurasian region.
  • Spiritual care for seriously ill in palliative care.
  • Advocating palliative care. How to communicate palliative care to different target groups.
  • Treatment of chronical pains: practical issues.
  • Organization and delivery of palliative care for children.
  • Funding for palliative services. How to find resources?
  • Organization of mobile services in palliative care.
  • Education in palliative care.

For additional comments from palliative care experts please contact the strategic communications department of the International Renaissance Foundation: pr@irf.kiev.ua

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