We started the conference activities an year ago; but with a difference

While reporting the conduct of IAPCONKochi2019 – the 26th International Conference of Indian Association of Palliative Care – held from 8th February 2019 at AELI Hills, Keezhmadu, Aluva, Kerala, India, we have a different story to share.

The Conference theme was “Voices in Palliative Care, Ensuring Quality, Creating Solutions.

The registration of delegates was launched at AIIMS, Delhi on 23rd February 2018.


Mr. Anwar Sadath, MLA, formally inaugurated the conference activities on 10th March 2018 at the conference venue.


A free eye camp supported by Dr. Tony’s Eye Hospital and Research Centre, Aluva, was held on the same day.  210 patients attended the camp.


This was followed by a gynaecology camp on 18th November 2018. 160 patients attended the camp.

A multi speciality medical camp was organized on 20th January 2019. 170 patients attended the camp.




As part of our campaign to reach out the message of palliative care to the rural population, we encouraged individuals and institutions to establish palliative care centres across the country.  As a result of our follow up, new palliative care centres started functioning in the following three places.

Mother Anna Care Centre, Helpers of Mary, Nagacode, Cherupaloor, Kulasekharam, Kanyakumari-629 161 Tamil Nadu.

The small house of Mr. K Radhakrishna Menon in his home town at Peringara village in Thiruvalla, Pathanamthitta district, Kerala, India, has been transformed into a new palliative care centre. The centre will function initially as a satellite outpatient unit of Pushpagiri Pain and Palliative Care Society, Pushpagiri Medical College Hospital, Thiruvalla.

The new Satellite OPD was dedicated as a New Year gift to the residents of the Peringara Grama Panchayath area.  The OPD will function on the first Saturday and third Thursday every month.

The third palliative care centre was opened at Kuttamassery, Keezhmadu, Aluva, under the aegis of Life Care Foundation.  The unit will function initially as a link centre of Anwar Memorial Pain and Palliative Care Society.




The three day conference was preceded by 7 workshops on 7th February 2019 at the same venue.

The following workshops were conducted.

  • Navigating the Unknown – Tools for the Psychological Care Giver;
  • Epidemiologic statistics for beginners – hands on workshop using Epi Info and Open Epi;
  • Home Care Experience;
  • Communication Skill in Palliative Care;
  • Neurology in Palliative Care;
  • Volunteering in Palliative Care;
  • Paediatric Palliative Care.


110 delegates participated in the above workshops.

Scientific sessions on the first day of the main conference were based on the theme Voices in Palliative Care.

The second day was on the theme Voices in Ensuring Quality.


The third day was on the theme Voices in Creating Solutions.

A total of 198 abstracts were approved and the presentations were made on 8th and 9th February 2019 in the following manner.

  1. Free Oral presentations –      46
  2. Poster Presentations –         127
  3. Photo Presentations –             8
  4. Video Presentations –           17

Total                                      –      198

The following were declared winners of the presentation competitions.



Oral Presentations

First Prize of INR 10000 sponsored by Mr. K Radhakrishna Menon in memory of his beloved mother Chempolli Lekshmikutty Amma

Code No. D2-A-122

Julia Browning

Creating Solutions through developing leaders in palliative care:

Evaluation of two cohorts of leadership training in Uganda (ICPCN)


Second Prize

Code No. D1-A-102

Mallika Narayan

Assessment of coping of hematological childhood cancer patients (curative and palliative) (Cancer Patients’ Aids Association)


Third Prize (2 Nos.)

Code No. D2-A-120

Vicky Opia

Development, implementation and evaluation of palliative care education for health care workers, village health teams and family caregivers providing healthcare for South Sudanese Refugees in Adjumani District, Uganda

Code No. D2-B-129

Mhoira E F Leng

Do we need Step 2 of the WHO Pain Ladder; an EAPC Research Network Study


Poster Presentations

First Prize

Code No. D2-313

Stanley C Macaden

Collaborative Approach: Combined clinics and joint ICU consultations for comprehensive and seamless care of older people approaching End of Life


Second Prize (3 Nos.)

Code No. D2-317

Chinthu S Kumar

An audit on implementing End of Life Care Policy in medical intensive care unit of a quaternary care centre in India


Code No. D1-249

Maryan Bezzahou

Creating a compassionate community to support care for children with chronic diseases in an Urban Informal Settlement in Bangladesh


Code No. D1-250

Emily Evans

Evaluation of a project echo on paediatric palliative care targeting health professionals in South Asia


Third Prize (2 Nos.)

Code No. D2-318

Greg Barclay

Comfort at End of Life: Can bispectral index monitoring add to our understanding?


Code No. D1-251

Biji M S

Illness perception in a paediatric cancer population at a tertiary cancer centre.


1100 delegates participated in the main conference.

During the conference period, Central Council meetings of Indian Association of Palliative Care were held on 7th February 2019 and 10th February 2019.

The Annual General Meeting of Indian Association of Palliative Care was held on 9th February 2019.

Project India Meeting, led by Dr Stanley C Macaden, was also held on 10th February 2019.

The Organising Committee takes this opportunity to thank Dr. Chitra Venkitesh, Chairperson, Scientific Committee and her following team members, ably assisted by Ms. Pallavi Naidu, for their untiring efforts in making the scientific programme live and meaningful.

  • Dr. Mhoira E F Leng
  • Dr. Athul Joseph Manuel
  • Dr. Sunitha Daniel
  • Dr. M M Sunil Kumar
  • Dr. Rajith Ramachandran
  • Dr. Biju Raghavan
  • Dr. Shoba Nair


Palliative care is a team work.  The conference would not have been made possible without the support from the following organizations.

AELI International acceded to our request to associate with the conference as the major Conference Partner.  They provided the whole of the 20 acres of this land with all the structures and amenities in AELI Hills, Keezhmadu free of any charges, stay for 140 delegates and two grounds for the conference apart from their 200 and odd strong human resource for this conference.

A total facelift had also been made exclusively for making the structures and the surroundings comfortable and wheel chair friendly to the delegates.

Above all, AELI International provided free accommodation to 160 delegates at YMCA, Thottumugham.

M/s. CIPLA Palliative Care & Training Centre had also come up as a major conference partner for this event.  Over the last few months, they have been in constant touch with us in coordinating the activities here.

Anwar Memorial Pain and Palliative Care Society is another major conference partner for this event.  All the volunteer work force was deployed for the successful conduct of this conference.

Rajagiri Hospital also came forward to help us as our Hospital Partner.  Their support was of great help during the conference period.

We were ably supported by other sponsors from corporate companies and institutions.



The Conference was formally inaugurated by Mr. Ramachandran Kadannappally, Hon’ble Minister for Ports, Museums, Archaeology and Archives, Kerala, at a solemn function  organized on 8th February 2019, which was presided over by Dr. Mary Anne Muckadan, President, Indian Association of Palliative Care.

Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar, Incoming President, addressed the gathering.


Mr. Ramachandran Kadannappally, Hon’ble Minister gave away the International Award for Excellence and Leadership in Palliative Care for the SAARC Countries 2018-19 instituted by Cancer Care Society to Dr. Savita Butola, Commandant, Border Security Force, Gwalior.  The Award carries a cash prize of INR 100000 and a citation.





Mr. Anwar Sadath, MLA, gave away the prestigious Bruce Davis Gold Medal to Dr. Anish Das Gupta, MD Student, Medical College, Kolkata, instituted by the Institute of Palliative Medicine, Kozhikode.

VOICES – the souvenir brought out to commemorate the occasion – was formally released by Mr. K A Ramesh, President, Keezhmadu Grama Panchayath.

Kochi Declaration

Astana declaration of October 2018 was taken as the basis of this declaration, which calls on health care systems to include palliative care as part of primary health care and to ensure partnership and control by the community.

As a prelude to the preparation of the draft declaration, a workshop was organised by Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram and Pallium India Trust on 11th December 2018 at Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram.

This workshop was steered by eminent personalities like Dr Thomas Mathew (Principal, Govt. Medical College, TVPM), Dr MR Rajagopal (Chairman, Pallium India Trust), Mr Rajeev Sadanandan IAS (Additional Chief Secretary, MoH&FW, Kerala), Mr Keshav Desiraju IAS (Former Principal Secretary, MoH&FW, GoI), Mr SM Vijayanand IAS (Former Chief Secretary, Kerala), Professor Dr T K Sundari Ravindran, formerly of the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Sciences Studies, Shri Narayanan Puthukudy, General Secretary, Kerala chapter of Indian Association of Palliative Care, Dr Ekbal Bappukunju (Member, Kerala State Planning Board) who could not be present, but gave his input by email.

Attendees included faculty members and students of medical college, SAT Hospital, AMCHSS, representatives from Child Development Centre, Indian Association of Palliative Care, ESI Hospital, SHSRC, DME, NISH and Volunteers from the civil society, numbering more than 150.

Having studied the success of the palliative care movement of Kerala which achieved significant coverage with participation of the community and taking account of its successes and shortcomings, urge the Government of India and the Governments of all States and Union Territories to:

  • review the National Program for Palliative Care (NPPC) which was created by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2012
  • review the implementation of the Kerala State Palliative Care Policy with a view to improving coverage and quality of palliative care delivered for possible adaptation by other State governments
  • implement the amended Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Amendment (NDPS) Act of 2014 throughout the country and ensure the availability of Essential Narcotic Drugs (ENDs) at affordable cost
  • initiate undergraduate, and post-graduate palliative care education in all clinical specialties by the Medical Council of India, Indian Nursing Council and by the responsible bodies of all allied health sciences, inclusive of compassion, gender-sensitivity and equitability
  • consider the palliative care needs of the elderly, women, children, the differently abled and all other vulnerable population
  • collaborate with non-governmental organizations as per the guidelines of NHSRC
  • establish a nodal agency to monitor the implementation of palliative care policies and programs along with evidence-based policy changes through research,
  • consider End-of-Life Care as an integral part of the national health care policy; and
  • implement the Clinical Establishment Act and adhere to ethical practices particularly in end of life care.

A detailed version of the declaration was published in VOICES – the commemorative souvenir – brought out in connection with IAPCONKochi2019.


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