From the President’s Desk

Dear Friends,

Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar

With the unique and innovative conference, the 30th Annual International Conference of the Indian Association of Palliative Care 2023 (IAPCON 2023), the true metamorphosis of Palliative Medicine in India has begun. This conference was organised between Friday, 10th February, 2023, and Sunday, 12th February, 2023, with the sole agenda to add a new dimension to the country’s palliative care lanscape by transforming the range and scope of India’s Palliative Medicine. The conference at the NIMHANS convention center, Bengaluru, was marked with the attendance of over 700 delegates from India and abroad, in which 80 national and 40 international speakers shared their knowledge with the world in over the 90 scientific sessions! Six major tracks, dedicated to various medical specialities were organised concurrently in the three halls over two days, while the third day was dedicated to innovative research and education in Palliative Care. A wide range of interesting topics were also covered in the pre-conference workshops organised at multiple venues. Oh, what an iconic event it was! On behalf of the IAPC, I would like to congratulate both, the Scientific team led by Dr Naveen Salins, and the Organising team BHT- Karunashraya, led by Dr Srinagesh Simha and Dr Seema Rao. I also extend my deepest gratitude to the delegates, whose enthusiastic participation made this conference a huge success! Warm congratulations to the winners of various competitions, and awards! I invite you to read the ‘Announcements and Messages from IAPC’ section of this newsletter for further details about the conference. I would like to highlight that with this conference, we have now truly embarked on a new journey of propelling the integration of palliative care within the various subspecialities of medicine. 

The IAPC successfully organised an in-person Annual General Body Meeting (AGBM) at Bengaluru on the second day of IAPCON 2023. Thank you, IAPC members, for your active participation in the AGBM. The highlights from the AGBM is available in the ‘Announcements and Messages from IAPC’ section of this newsletter. I wish to once again, congratulate and welcome Dr Naveen Salins and Dr Jayita Deodhar, who have been elected unanimously to the posts of Secretary General, Academy of Palliative Medicine, and the Central Committee Member (West Zone), respectively.

The IAPC also launched its first Specialist Palliative Care Training program, the Masterclass- ImPaCT- NephroCare on Monday, 20th February, 2023. The program is being organised by the Academy of Palliative Medicine, and is endorsed jointly by the IAPC and the Indian Society of Nephrology (ISN). Congratulations Dr Nandini Vallath, Dr Anuja Damani, Dr Pankaj Singhai, and Dr Avinash Tiwari, for designing and developing this program.

I would like to also share another important development that is unfolding in Arunachal Pradesh.  The IAPC in collaboration with the NHM, Arunachal Pradesh, trained 36 clinicians in the basics of palliative care, at Itanagar, earlier this month. Congratulations Dr Tashi Chotton (Nodal Officer, NPPC, Arunachal Pradesh) for your persistent efforts and for successfully organising this program. Further details about this program is available in the ‘Education and Training’ section of this newsletter.

The 3rd online batch of the IAPC’s Certificate Course in Palliative Care Pharmacy (CCPCP) has been announced. The course is scheduled for Saturday, 11th March, 2023, and aims to equip participants with adequate knowledge of commonly used drugs in Palliative Care for pain management, and to manage other symptoms. The course will also cover Essential Narcotic Drugs and Narcotic Drugs, along with the technical legalities to procure, store, dispense and document the same. I request you to circulate the course announcement and invite your pharmacist colleagues to register for the course before Wednesday, 8th March, 2023. 

The IAPC is also currently inviting submissions to commemorate ‘World Poetry Day’. I encourage the poets from our community to leverage this opportunity to share their original piece of work with the world. Further details about this can be found in the ‘Announcements and Messages from IAPC’ section of this newsletter.

A host of other interesting activities have also been unfurling over the past few weeks from India’s palliative care community. We have tried our best to include glimpses and details from these various educational activities, and the wonderful recognitions and awards which our wonderful colleagues have received, in this edition of the newsletter. I extend my sincere congratulations to all those who have been working tirelessly towards improving the provisioning of palliative care in our country. I also send my warm compliments to the winners of the various awards / recognitions.

I urge you to not miss reading the ‘Interesting Reads’ section of this newsletter, in which the IAPC’s Exclusive Articles presents to you a myriad articles covering the various facets of Palliative Care. The contributors to this section, for the month are:

Dr Odette Spruijt from Launceston, Tasmania, Australia: Human Fraternity -“Fellow Travelers, Sharing the Same Flesh”’

Dr Vidya Viswanath from Vishakapatnam: ‘Women of Substance in Palliative Medicine

Ms Anu Savio Thelly from Pondicherry: ‘Social Justice and Palliative Care

Congratulations to the contributors for these thought-provoking articles!

Apart from the scientific feast and the remarkable strides made towards progressing the speciality of Palliative Medicine, IAPCON 2023, also created and provided us with an opportunity to meet our friends and colleagues from across the globe after 3 years to celebrate and unwind. May the everlasting memories from this get-together give us the energy to keep moving ahead with our mission!

With warm regards,

Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar
President, IAPC