From the President’s Desk

Dear Friends,

Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar

The Palliative Care Community from across the globe is excited to come together once again, on the occasion of the much-awaited World Hospice and Palliative Care Day (WHPCD), to raise our voice for Hospice and Palliative Care. The theme for 2022 is “Leave no-one behind – equity in access to palliative care”. I hope preparations are underway at your organizations to celebrate this special day.

It is with much pride and excitement that I present to you this edition of the Newsletter; our attempt to draw attention towards the inadequate integration of Palliative Care within the healthcare system and the subsequent inequity in access to PC for the various sections of our population. This edition aims to focus on Paediatric Palliative Care and discuss its different aspects. I invite you to read this special feature of 10 articles, written by prominent leaders and experts from the field. I am certain that these articles will enrich and contribute to the field of paediatric palliative care. The special series will continue over the next two editions, to showcase other sections of the populations (eg. Geriatric, LGBTI, Homeless, Mental Health etc.) which tend to fall through the gap in terms of availability and access to palliative care.

The other much-awaited event, the 29th Annual International Conference of IAPC, The IAPCON, will be held virtually between Friday the 11th and Sunday the 13th February 2022. I am sure that the organizing team of IAPCON 2022, led under the able guidance by Dr. Anjum Joad Khan and her team from Jaipur, Rajasthan, will present an exhilarating feast of scientific knowledge. Additional details about the upcoming virtual conference, is available in this Newsletter.

We were unable to organize our Annual General Body Meeting (AGBM) or elections last year, due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. This year, we have determined to brave the odds and have already initiated steps to organize a virtual AGBM in the first week of November 2021, and conduct online elections in January 2022. Further details of the AGBM and the Election will be announced officially on the coming days through the IAPC website.

I would like to welcome Dr. Raghavendra R. and the members of the New Editorial team of the Indian Journal of Palliative Care (IJPC) on board. I invite you to please visit the newly designed website of IJPC to enjoy an excellent reading experience. On behalf of the IAPC, I express my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Naveen Salins, the former Chief Editor of IJPC, for his brilliant leadership. IJPC reached new heights and bagged several great achievements during his tenure. Naveen, it would not have been possible, without your contribution! Thank you and wish you the best for all your future endeavors.

The past month has been rich in activity in the field of Palliative Care education and training. Firstly, Series 3, of IAPC Academy Lectures, began on Monday, 26th July 2021, with an excellent session by Dr. S. V. S. Deo. Series will be delivered by both National and International faculties. I am very excited to share that most of the sessions in this series will be delivered by a very young faculty group, our very own MD Palliative Medicine completed students. I invite and request you to join these informative and enriching sessions. Secondly, the Online sessions for our Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Care (CCEPC), for the July 2021 batch, commenced on Saturday, 24th July 2021, with a record number of 435 candidates (includes doctors and nurses) registering through our 28 authorized course centres spread across the country. Congratulations to all the centre coordinators for their support and efforts to make this course popular.

I am also thrilled to share that the National Medical Commission has approved for MD in Palliative Medicine to be offered at Sawai Man Singh Medical College, Jaipur, and Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. A total of 4 MD seats in Palliative Medicine have been sanctioned; 2 at each center.

Finally, I must emphasize the need for us to continue practicing COVID appropriate behaviour and maintain vigil to protect our country from any impending threat, that the COVID may impose.

Most importantly, I once again request you to spare a moment and update your contact details (email and phone number) via the form shared in this newsletter. Please note that all announcements, programs and other communication from IAPC will henceforth be communicated to members either via email or Whatsapp.

Take care.

Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar
President, IAPC

IAPC’s Special Feature on Paediatric Palliative Care

The World Hospice and Palliative Care Day (WHPCD) will be celebrated on 9th October this year and observe the theme: ‘Leave no-one behind – equity in access to palliative care’

We, at the IAPC, wish to draw your attention towards the inadequate integration of PC within the healthcare system and the subsequent inequity in access to PC for the various sections (eg. LGBTI, Homeless, Pediatric, Geriatric, etc.) of our population. Each edition of our upcoming newsletter until WHPCD (August, September and October edition) will focus on highlighting the need for palliative care services for one or two of these sections of the population who face unequal access to PC. 

We are delighted to present to you, in this edition, a special feature on Paediatric Palliative care to generate awareness and improve the momentum for paediatric palliative care in the country. 

This feature encompasses a selection of articles (experiences, stories and other key recommendations, etc.) from geographically dispersed expert paediatric palliative care practitioners from different cadres (Doctors, Nurses, Psychologists and Administrators) and from different institutional setups (Private hospitals, Public Institutions, Stand alone centers, NGOs). Please click here to read these very interesting articles.

Announcements / Messages from IAPC

IAPCON 2022, Jaipur: An update

The organizing team of IAPCON 2022, led by Dr. Anjum Joad from Jaipur, Rajasthan, is excited to present to you all, a virtual conference, between Friday the 11th to Sunday the 13th February 2022. As is the tradition, the conference will be preceded by a pre-conference workshop on Thursday, 10th February, 2022. The theme for the conference is ‘Achieving Excellence and Equity in Palliative Care‘.

The virtual international conference aims to offer something of value to each and every attendee, with sessions being planned for physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, academicians, teachers, students and volunteers.

Efforts are being made to provide experts with a platform that will allow our national and international faculty to enrich and empower conference delegates. The conference will focus on highlighting the recent advances in both cancer and non-cancer palliative medicine, while also emphasizing on philosophy and empathy, the foundation of palliative care. Workshops will include sessions on Ethics, ELNEC, difficult pain, use of methadone, teaching methodology and psychosocial aspects of palliative care.

In addition to the electrifying quiz competitions and the stimulating paper and poster presentations, innovative twists such as ‘Three recent papers that have changed my practice’ will be incorporated into traditional debate sessions.

IAPC Central Council (CC) Meeting: An update

The IAPC’s CC meeting was held virtually on Monday, 28th July, 2021. Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar, President, IAPC chaired the session and Dr. Savita Butola, Secretary, IAPC, presented the activity report of IAPC. Highlights from the meeting as follows:

  • A unanimous decision was taken to conduct the IAPC’s Annual General Body Meeting (AGBM) virtually during the second week of November (2021), due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. The date of the AGBM and other relevant details will be announced through the IAPC website. Members are requested to follow updates in our website.
  • The IAPC Elections for the post of President, Secretary and Central Council Members will be held online during the second week of January (2022). This again, is due to the limitations imposed by the pandemic. The election date will be announced through the IAPC website.
  • Dr. Anjum Joad Khan, the organizing secretary of IAPCON 2022, presented an update of the preparatory actions taken towards organizing IAPCON 2022.
  • The CC approved the proposal from Bangalore Hospice Trust – Karunashraya, Bengaluru to host IAPCON 2023.

IJPC has a new Editorial board

After an outstanding tenure of over seven years as Associate Editor and Editor, Prof. Naveen Salins passes the baton to Dr. Raghavendra Ramanjulu.

IAPC expresses its gratitude to all the former editors Dr. Naveen Salins, Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar, Dr. Jacob Alexander, Dr. Reena George, Dr. Prabha Chandra, and Dr. Mrs. Shah for their leadership that saw IJPC grow in stature.

Please click here to continue reading this announcement.

Share a minute to help IAPC connect with you better!

The pandemic has redefined how people connect and communicate with each other. IAPC has also shifted to conducting several of our programs and activities to virtual platforms. However, we noticed that in order to be able to embrace this ‘new way’ of engaging with each other, our database needs to be updated immediately to ensure that we can continue to connect with you.

We request you to please click on this link to update / share with us your contact details so that we may continue to meaningfully engage with each other as we bring to you exciting news, events, stories and other updates.

Please note that all future announcements, programs and other communications will henceforth be sent via the contact details that you have shared in this form.

Education and Training

Update from IAPC ACADEMY

Report on activities in July

The palliative care fraternity from across the country and beyond, continued to participate in the weekly IAPC Academy webinars, being held every Monday between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

Dr. Sunitha Daniel’s fantastic presentation on ‘Approach to a patient with breathlessness’, was the final session in the IAPC Academy Lecture Series 2, and was delivered on Monday, 5th July 2021.

The IAPC Academy Lecture Series 3 was scheduled to begin after a 2 week break. During these 2 weeks, we conducted a feedback survey of the recently concluded Lecture Series 2, as a mark of our commitment towards quality assurance. A total of 88 respondents participated in the survey with an average completion rate of 67%. Results of the survey were shared via email with the audience of IAPC Academy and the speakers of the upcoming Lecture Series 3 to ensure integration of key suggestions and recommendations.

The much awaited and a re-designed Series 3 was launched on Monday, 26th July, 2021. Please click here to read further details about Series 3. The very eminent Dr. S. V. S. Deo delivered an outstanding inaugural lecture ‘Surgical Emergencies and Concerns in Palliative Care: Role of the Surgical Oncologist’, on 26th July 2021. Our palliative care community was absolutely delighted to learn from Dr. Deo’s lecture.

Thank you, Dr. Sunitha Daniel and Dr. SVS Deo, for sharing your time and expertise with us during these lectures.

Please click here to access their recorded sessions.

Sessions planned for July

IAPC Academy Scedule for August 2021

July Batch of IAPC’s CCEPC Course

CCEPC Online class

The 3rd online batch of IAPC’s Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Care (CCEPC) course was conducted on Saturday the 24th, Sunday the 25th, Saturday the 31st of July and Sunday the 1st of August, 2021. We are extremely delighted to announce that a record 435 participants registered for the introductory course in Palliative care in this batch; a testament to the growing need and popularity of palliative medicine.

Various eminent and expert faculty delivered rich and interactive sessions which ensured that our participants were riveted to the sessions. Preliminary feedback indicates that the program was successful in instilling an interest in palliative care as several participants expressed interest to continue their education in Palliative Care.

Feedback articulated by the course participants as below:

“All sessions are so informative and interactive..and of course, we are learning new part of medicine, which will definitely change our attitude towards the illness of our patients”

“All the sessions were very useful and it was a good learning experience!!”

“The sessions helped us to revise all the drugs and the doses of narcotics. It would surely help us a lot to better serve our patients.”

Register for the online training program on ‘Pediatric Palliative Care’ – TMH

The Department of Palliative Medicine at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, is offering an online training program on “Pediatric Palliative Care”, to train Doctors and Nurses to meet the growing demand for Pediatric Palliative Care services at various health care settings.

The course will be held every Saturday between Saturday the 24th July and Wednesday the 28th of August, 2021 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Please click here to know more about the course and how you can register for the same.

Register for ‘Farishtey’, India’s first course for ‘Death Duolas’

Kosish, in association with NAPCAIM, has devised the first certificate course in India for ‘death duolas’, called ‘Farishtey’.

The 8 week, module based course aims to address issues surrounding death & dying, with a 5 day contact session. This certificate course is open to those having an interest in death, dying and compassionate practices.

Further details can be obtained by making an enquiry at or by visiting their Facebook page.

Awards, Recognitions and other developements

MD in Palliative Medicine, now at two more Institutes!

It is extremely heartwarming to announce that the National Medical Commission has granted approval to Sawai Man Singh Medical College, Jaipur, and to Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, to begin offering MD in Palliative Medicine. Two seats are made available per year at each of these institutes starting 2021.

Hearty congratulations to Dr. Ashwin Mathur and Dr. Naveen Salins for their perseverant efforts and contribution towards the development of Palliative Care in the country.

MD in Palliative Medicine is currently being offered at only three other institutes in the country: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi; Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai; and the Gujarat Cancer & Research Institute, Ahmedabad.

Karunashraya lays the foundations stone for the Bagchi-Karunashraya Palliative Care Center in Odisha

Shri Naveen Patnaik, Honb'le Chief Minister of Odisha, along with Mr and Mrs Bagchi and Team Karunashraya

Karunashraya surpasses another major milestone and created history on Monday, 12th July, 2021, as Shri Naveen Patnaik, Honb’le Chief Minister of Odisha, laid the foundation stone for their upcoming Bagchi-Karunashraya Palliative Care Center at Info Valley in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha.

The palliative care center is envisioned to offer home care services along with a state of the art 110 bed In-patient center to care for advanced stage cancer patients, at no cost to patients and their families.

Please click here to continue reading.

Interesting Reads

‘Save one life, you’re a hero. Save a 100 lives, you’re a nurse’

– Author Unknown

It is a well established and a universal fact, that nurses are the backbones of a healthcare facility. We, at the IAPC, wish to recognize, celebrate and applaud our nurses who work so passionately and selflessly to ensure that quality palliative care is delivered to their patients.

We bring to you an inspirational story featuring one of our very own self made nurse’s from Assam. Please click here to read Ms. Sarita Chettri’s riveting conversation with us, as she vividly describes and narrates her journey in palliative care.

National Doctors’ Day, 1 July 2021

India celebrates National Doctors’ Day on 1st July each year, to acknowledge, recognize and pay gratitude to physicians for all that they do for their patients and to the society as a whole. This year’s theme as announced by the Indian Medical Association is ‘Zero tolerance to violence against doctors and clinical establishment’.   

We are indebted to our Medical community, doctors included, for braving the war against the COVID-19 pandemic and hold fort. 

Please click here to read Dr. Jasmine Kaur’s experience of being a Covid warrior. Please click here to watch a short video in which Dr. Jasmine Kaur and her colleagues from Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, get candid, as they brim with pride on being a Covid Warrior, while also sharing the challenges they faced juggling roles as parents.

Please click here to listen to Dr. Manali, an Intensivist, sharing her experiences and emotions through the pandemic, in her unique and captivating poetic style.

We feel it is only apt and also essential for our Doctors’ to now practice some self care after their selfless journey over the past few months. Please click here to read Abi Rimmer’s publication, ‘How can I manage compassion fatigue?’, which highlights a few pointers on ways to deal with compassion fatigue.  

Global Forgiveness Day, Wednesday, 7th July 2021

Forgiving is often said to be one of the noblest qualities of a human being. The observance of the ‘Global Forgiveness Day’ is to shed focus on the importance of forgiveness and to foster the art of forgiving. Practicing forgiveness encourages compassion, lightens us and helps us to move forward on our spiritual path.

On this occasion, we present to you Ms. Vijayalakshmi’s heartwarming story on forgiveness.

Please click here to read her story.

World Youth Skills Day, Thursday, 15th July, 2021

World Youth Skills Day, July 15, 2021

The United Nations General Assembly, in 2014, declared 15th July as World Youth Skills Day. This day is celebrated globally, to recognize and create awareness on the vital role of equipping and empowering young people with skills aimed towards facilitating them to become entrepreneurs or find employment that will furnish them with decent work.

World Youth Skills Day 2021, specifically pays tribute to the resilience and creativity of youth through the crisis.

We leverage this opportunity to present to you Ms. Jyothi Jayan Warrier’s article, which highlights the wide gamut of palliative care as she describes how a palliative care organization empowered and re-integrated 2 young people back into the society’s mainstream as they navigated the crisis brought on by their medical condition.

Other upcoming events

Participate in the NHRC 7th Annual Short Films Competition

Entries are now open for The National Human Rights Commission’s (NHRC) 7th Annual Competition for Short Films on human rights. Entries are invited for issues covering o bonded and child labour, women and children’s rights, rights of elderly persons, disabled, right to healthcare, issues of fundamental freedoms, human trafficking, domestic violence, human rights violation due to police atrocities, custodial violence and torture, socio-economic disparities, rights of indigenous people, prison reforms, right to education, right to clean environment, right to work, right to equality before law, right to food and nutritional security, rights of LGBTI, human rights violation due to displacement on account of either man-made or natural calamity.

Entries can be submitted online, before Friday, 15th October, 2021. Please click here to read further details.

Register for the International Virtual Conference “Community-Based Palliative Care: The Way Forward”

Click on the image to enlarge

The Karunruk Palliative Care Center, Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, WHO Collaborating Center for Community Participation in Palliative Care and Long-term care, Ministry of Public Health of Thailand, National Health Security Office, National Health Foundation, Thai Palliative Care Society is organizing an International Virtual Conference “Community-Based Palliative Care: The Way Forward” on Thursday, August 26th, 2021 at 6:30 a.m. IST (8:00 a.m. Bangkok time).

Please click here for further details regarding the conference.

To offer help and support during challenging times

Leave a comment