January 2015 saw the 4th instalment of the training-of-trainers in palliative care program at Yangon General Hospital, Myanmar.
The training was implemented by a volunteer faculty of doctors and nurses from the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) coming from Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.
As part of the Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care initiative, the program aims to develop palliative care leadership and capacity in the mainstream government health system.
Small group discussions, case-based learning and teaching on the wards by interacting with patients featured prominently throughout the teaching week.
The in-country training is complemented by overseas clinical attachments for selected participants. This is planned to start from September 2015, with the first batch visiting Singapore for a 3 month-long attachment which aims to enhance each recipient’s understanding of running a palliative care service as well as clinical skills.
The APHN team also supports its local partners, such as the Myanmar Medical Association (MMA) in their efforts to engage the Health Ministry.
This advocacy is aimed at better access to essential pain medications, the introduction of palliative medicine into the medical and nursing curriculum, and the establishment of palliative care services at the principal tertiary hospitals.
The MMA has just ratified the creation of a Palliative Medicine special interest group to advance the development of this area of healthcare in Myanmar, including the intention for this group to spearhead the formation of a national strategy for palliative care.
Local media organisations have also been helpful in raising the awareness of hospice and palliative care, read this related article by Mizzima Media.
The Lien Collaborative is also active in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka with several more in-country training programs scheduled over the course of the year.
If you or your organisation would like to be a partner in the Lien Collaborative, please contact the APHN at firstname.lastname@example.org.