iPDF – International Paediatric Palliative Care Discussion Forum Online Now!

The Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) launched its first paediatric palliative care initiative, the International Paediatric Palliative Care Discussion Forum, abbreviated as the iPDF, on 20 August 2015.

Conceptualized and implemented by the Paediatric Palliative Care Special Interest Group (PPC SIG) of the APHN, the iPDF will be a free resource platform for all paediatric palliative care workers to ask questions and participate in the latest discussions in children’s palliative care, anytime, anywhere online.

How it all started

Many paediatric palliative care workers in the region are working in isolation. Many cannot travel overseas for training and education. They have no one to ask if they run into trouble. Recognising the need to provide a platform that provides reliable help, is readily accessible, free and easy to use, the PPC SIG decided to fill this gap and start an online resource.

More than just a forum

The iPDF aims to become an online community for practitioners from different disciplines who work in the field of children’s palliative care, to provide networking and mutual support. In addition to being an interactive platform, the iPDF is moderated by a multidisciplinary panel of experts. Participants can be sure that their questions will be responded promptly by the relevant content specialists. Everyone can certainly look forward to many fruitful discussions with equally passionate colleagues around the globe, which has not been possible, until now.

Building capacity in a virtual environment

In conjunction with ongoing discussions, additional articles will be released every few months. These articles will include interviews with our moderators, who will share their own perspectives on the latest news and debates. Summaries of the most talked about topics, most shared answers, and further discussion on interesting projects within iPDF will be sent to participants, to keep everyone up to date on the hottest issues in the field.

Moving forward

The iPDF will continue to engage participants through activities built around this platform. We look forward to the iPDF becoming a resource for all paediatric palliative care workers, not just as a knowledge base but also a source of inspiration.

Join us!

Find out how to sign up for the forum at the APHN PPC site!

The iPDF is hosted on the Google platform. If you have a registered Google account, you may join the forum directly here.

The iPDF is an initiative by the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network. If you will like to help contribute to the initiative or other activities in the APHN, please feel free to contact Joyce at aphn@aphn.org or +65 6235 5166.

International Paediatric Palliative Care Discussion Forum (iPDF) – Starts today!

Promotional PicDear fellow palliative care colleagues

On behalf of the Paediatric Palliative Care Special Interest Group (PPC SIG) of the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN), we will like to invite you and your colleagues to join us as we launch our very own discussion forum focusing on children’s palliative care.

Support us by sharing this post with your friends and participate!

To join the forum, all you have to do is

1. Sign up for a Google account (if you do not have one)
2.Click on this link https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!forum/aphn_ipdf!

Our forum is moderated by an international multidisciplinary group of experts which we have gathered to help answer any questions that you may have regarding children’s palliative care.

Click here to find out more.

Invitation to bid – 13th Asia Pacific Hospice Conference 2019


The APHN Council is pleased to invite member organizations wishing to host the 13th Asia Pacific Hospice Conference 2019 to send in their application to the APHN Secretariat.  Closing date for submission of application and bid documents has been extended till 31 December 2015.

Click here to download the bidding document template and the procedure for application.

Please email the bidding document to aphn@aphn.org.

Please note to send your file as “Bidding document for 13th APHC_<your organization name>”


Paediatric Palliative Care Course in India

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Dear members and friends

Department of Palliative Medicine, Tata Memorial Centre, E Borges Road, Parel, Mumbai is organizing a Training program for doctors and nurses on Children’s Palliative Care (Paediatric Palliative Care). The total duration of the course will be 4 weeks. There would be 3 days of contact session from 1st to 3rd September 2015. The subsequent 2 weeks would be for assignments and case studies from home. The 4th week ( 21st to 25th September 2015) will be hands on training in the Department of Palliative Medicine, Tata Memorial Centre and LTMG Hospital, Sion, Mumbai. The exam will be conducted in October 2015. Tea and Lunch will be provided during 3 days of contact session.

For more information please contact Ms Melba at +91 9819826885.
Click here to download the programme schedule

Deadline for application: 16th August 2015.
Fees: Rs 2000/-.
Venue: 13th Floor, Lecture Hall, Homi Bhabha Block, Tata Memorial Centre, Parel Mumbai- 12, India
Dates to note: 1st, 2nd and 3rd September 2015
Time: 9.30 am to 4. 30 pm

Australasian Palliative Link International Forum: Mentoring into the Future

2015 APLI workshop program

The Australasian Palliative Link International will be having a forum on Monday 31 August, from 2.30 – 6.30pm. Anyone is welcome to join the forum. Registration is free!

Please RSVP your attedence by Friday 28th August.

APHN calling for volunteer writers for the website and monthly newsletter


Dear palliative care workers and volunteers in the Asia Pacific Region, we are calling for volunteers to contribute your stories to our website and newsletter. We welcome any story that you will like to share with us.

This may include

  • Local news on palliative care developments in your country
  • Reports of  past or upcoming workshops, concerts, events and activities in your palliative care community
  • Stories on your work in palliative care, patient stories,
  • Sharing on what you do for self-care (like baking, going on holidays)
  • Patient cases that you will like to bring up for discussion with other palliative care experts
  • ANY OTHER STORY you will like to share

As long as you have an interest in finding out more about palliative care and have some free time to write, please feel free to drop us an email at aphn@aphn.org  or visit our website www.aphn.org to find out more!

If you will like to contribute on a regular basis, we also welcome you to join the APHN editorial team!


Introducing APHN new 15th Governing Council

15th Council

Back row: Mr Kwan Kam Fan, Dr Jeanno Park, Dr Maria Witjaksono, Dr Chun-Kai Fangl, Dr Priyadarshini Kulkarni, Dr Richard Lim, Dr Annie Kwok, Prof Yoshiyuki Kizawa, Prof Satoru Tsuneto, Dr Chong Poh-Heng
Seated: Dr R Akhileswaran, Dr Sushma Bhatnagar, Prof Cynthia Goh, Prof Tetsuo Kashiwagi (Stepped down from 15th Council), Dr Ednin Hamzah 
Absent with apologies: Prof M R Rajagopal, Dr Ghauri Aggarwal, Prof Patsy Yates, Dr Yvonne Luxford, Prof Hyun Sook Kim, Dr Jun-Hua Lee

Associate Professor Cynthia Goh Chairman Elected (Singapore)
Dr Ednin Hamzah Vice-Chairman Co-opted (Malaysia)
Professor M R Rajagopal Vice-Chairman Co-opted (India)
Dr Ghauri Aggarwal Honorary Secretary Co-opted (Australia)
Dr R Akhileswaran Assistant Honorary Secretary Elected (Singapore)
Prof Patsy Yates Honorary Treasurer Appointed (Australia)
Mr Kwan Kam Fan Assistant Honorary Treasurer Appointed (Hong Kong)
Dr Priyadarshini Kulkarni Member Appointed (India)
Dr Maria Witjaksono Member Appointed (Indonesia)
Professor Satoru Tsuneto Member Appointed (Japan)
Dr Jeanno Park Member Appointed (Korea)
Dr Richard Lim Member Appointed (Malaysia)
Dr Yvonne Luxford Member Elected (Australia)
Dr Annie Kwok Member Elected (Hong Kong)
Professor Yoshiyuki Kizawa Member Elected (Japan)
Professor Hyun Sook Kim Member Elected (Korea)
Dr Chun-Kai Fang Member Elected (Taiwan)
Dr Sushma Bhatnagar Member Co-opted (India)
Dr Chong Poh Heng Member Co-opted (Singapore)
Dr Jun-Hua Lee Member Co-opted (Taiwan)

Chairs of APHN committees

Communications: Dr Chun-Kai Fang (Taiwan)

Education: Dr Ednin Hamzah (Malaysia)

Finance: Prof Patsy Yates (Australia)

Human Resource: Mr Kwan Kam-Fan (Hong Kong)

Membership : Dr Annie Kwok (Hong Kong)

Research: Dr Sushma Bhatnagar (India)

Chairs of APHN Special Interest Groups (SIG)

Paediatric Palliative Care: Dr Chong Poh Heng (Singapore)

Pacific Islands: Dr Sue Marsden (New Zealand)

China: Dr Rico Liu (Hong Kong)

Advisory Council (By invitation)

Chair: Prof Tetsuo Kashiwagi (Japan)

Member: Prof Enoch Lai (Taiwan)

Member: Prof Young Seon Hong (Korea)

ALL committee and groups are open for APHN members to join (except finance committee). Please feel free to email the APHN Secretariat at aphn@aphn.org or call +65 6235 5166 to indicate your interest if you will like to be part of the APHN committee or SIG!!

Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network and Palliative Care Australia : Syringe Driver Exchange Programme

With the phasing out of Graseby syringe drivers in Australia with the introduction of alternatives, significant numbers of these useful devices could be made available for palliative care services in the region.  The Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) and  Palliative Care Australia (PCA) propose a mechanism whereby a palliative care institution (APHN Organisational Member) initiates a request to APHN by filling in the details below. Successful applicants will be informed and PCA will connect them to a donor service in Australia. This arrangement hopes to facilitate a donation of useful syringe devices across international boundaries as well as networking.

The current status of palliative care in India

Dr Raj“Less than 1% of India’s 1.2 billion population has access to palliative care. The efforts by pioneers over the last quarter of a century have resulted in progress, some of which may hold lessons for the rest of the developing world. In recent years, a few of the major barriers have begun to be overcome. The South Indian state of Kerala, which has 3% of India’s population, stands out in terms of achieving coverage of palliative care. This has been achieved initially by non-government charitable activity, which catalysed the creation of a government palliative care policy. The nongovernment action, by involving the community, serves to strive for quality of care as the government system improves coverage. On the national level, recent years saw several improvements, including the creation of a National Program for Palliative Care (NPPC) by the government of India in 2012. The year 2014 saw the landmark action by the Indian Parliament, which amended India’s infamous Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, thus overcoming many of the legal barriers to opioid access. Education of professionals and public awareness are now seen to be the greatest needs for improving access to palliative care in India.”

In an article published in cancercontrol.info titled The current status of palliative care in India, Dr M. R. Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, writes about the emergence of palliative care in the country – its origins, the barriers to opioid availability and how some of those barriers came to be simplified thanks to the continued efforts of many people from India and abroad, and the current status.

Read the complete article here.

From Pallium India newsletter 

Social and Therapeutic Horticulture for Palliative Care

Author: Lisi Pilgrem, Occupational Therapist, STH for Palliative Care Interest Group Coordinator
Last year Lisi Pilgrem set up a group for those with an interest in social and therapeutic horticulture for palliative care to enable the sharing of ideas and best practice. Next month the group are holding their second study day and all are welcome.

Social and therapeutic horticulture (STH) for palliative care promotes wellbeing and quality of life for people affected by life-limiting illness through active or passive gardening, horticulture or accessing nature.

But everyone who has links with hospices or services which provide palliative care – staff, patients and their families, volunteers – can benefit from the presence of the ‘natural environment’ which our gardens have to offer.

Research shows that horticulture, gardening and access to nature, whether through active or passive participation, improves wellbeing and quality of life.

Benefits include restoration of energy and attention, recovery from stress, improved confidence and person identity, adjustment and normalisation.

Patients affected by life-limiting illness often feel that their gardening days are over. Time is taken up with hospital appointments, coping with disease progression and loss, and managing symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety and pain. Opportunities to enjoy gardening or appreciate nature lessen.

STH for palliative care is about holistically managing symptoms while empowering individuals to achieve their personal preferences and goals…read more

From ehospice

NIH announces available end-of-life and palliative care grants

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be awarding grants toward research on the perspectives, needs, wishes, and decision-making processes of adolescents and young adults ages 12–24 with serious, advanced illnesses. The grants will also be supporting research on end-of-life/palliative care models that support the physical, psychological, spiritual, and social needs of 12–24-year-olds with serious illness, their families, and caregivers. NIH will begin accepting submissions January 6, 2016, for exploratory/development grants to fund projects of up to five years whose budgets “reflect the actual needs of the proposed project…read more

From Journal of Palliative Medicine

Palliative Care service starts in Myanmar

By Dr Wah Wah Myint Zu, Palliative Care Clinic, Yangon General Hospital

13 August 2015 was the opening ceremony of the first Palliative Care Clinic in Myanmar, based at the main general hospital, Yangon General Hospital (YGH). I have been so busy and tired with the preparations. But seeing that the opening ceremony was successful, it feels like all my tiredness was gone and I feel refreshed again! I am so excited and looking forward to giving value added Palliative care service to our patients!!

Our multidisciplinary palliative care team comprises of all the participants from YGH who attended the Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care (LCPC)  Training-of-Trainer in Palliative Care program conducted by the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN). The doctors in the team are Dr Khin Thin Mu from the medical oncology specialty, Dr Yin Thu Win, Dr Lin Lin Kyi and myself from the radiotherapy department (RT) , Dr Soe Thant from the orthosurgical unit, Dr Soe Soe Khaing from PM&R department. May Mar Min Aung and Chaw Kalayar are the palliative care trained nurses. We also have two members, Thin Thin Soe and Thin Thin Wai from medical social work. The team will be taking care of patients using the interdisciplinary holistic care approach like symptom management, nursing care, psycho-social care and spiritual care.

I am very thankful to Prof Myint Thaung (Head of Orthopaedic Department and President of Myanmar Chapter in ASEAPS) who gave the speech at our opening ceremony. He presented on how the Palliative care training is established, about the collaboration between Lien Foundation and APHN group. He highlighted our intention of Palliative care training which is to develop champions in Palliative care service and to train other health personnel about Palliative care.

I will also like to thank Prof Khin Myo Hla (President of the Myanmar Chapter of the International Association for the Study of Pain and Head of the Rehabiliation Department) for supporting us; A/Prof Daw Khin Cho Win (Head of the Radiotherapy Department), Prof U Myo Myint Maw (Head of the Medical Oncology Department) and Prof Win Min Thit (Head of Neuro-Medical Department), consultants from our department; Dr Moe Hlaing, Dr Mie Mie Thwe, consultants from Medical Oncology Department; Dr Phyu Phyu Theint , Dr Shwe Sin Win,Dr Zun Thynn , specialist assistant surgeons and post graduate students from RT, Matron, Patron , Sisters and Staff nurses form both OPD and ward and from the Pain treatment centre, physicists from our RT department and medical social officers. They have all taken time to attend the opening ceremony in spite of their busy workload.  Last but not least, I will like to thank Ms Mona and Dr Reddy's company for helping us and those companies who sent us flowers in support of us.

As this phase of our training program is slowly drawing closer to an end, I will really miss the other palliative care participants. We have a bulletin board showing photos of our Palliative Care Training activities by the APHN, right from the first module which started in Dec 2012 to the fifth module which ended in July 2015. They showed our hardwork, role playing and team spirit building activities, group presentations and at one occasion, a remarkable relaxing dinner. Our 6th and last module will be in Jan 2016.

To all the other participants of the LCPC program, we welcome you anytime to visit our clinic and any help you offer to us will be very much appreciated.

If you are interested to find out more about the Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care or contribute articles on palliative care services in your country, please contact Joyce at aphn@aphn.org or +65 6235 5166.


Rural palliative care patients disadvantaged by poor access to primary health

UntitledA recent survey by New South Wales aged care provider the not-for-profit Whiddon Group has found access to primary health providers, including specialist palliative care, is a significant barrier for its rural and remote clients.

The Whiddon Group is one of the recipients of a Decision Assist Linkages grant, aimed at building better links between the providers of palliative and aged care across Australia.

The grant enabled the project team to undertake a survey of each Whiddon site in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote communities.  This was to better understand existing linkages with specialist palliative care service providers, access to primary health providers, and the individual strengths of each facility providing care for clients with palliative needs.

The survey found that while most of Whiddon’s NSW sites had access to specialist palliative care teams as part of their Local Health District, one rural community was able to access specialist palliative care only through a private provider in a neighbouring town. The remotest sites, Bourke and Walgett, were over 400 kilometres from the nearest specialist palliative care provider and had access to a Registered Nurse only one day a week and a fly in, fly out, locum GP at the local medical practice

The survey identified access to primary health providers, particularly after hours, as a barrier to many sites in providing care for clients with palliative needs. Survey respondents said that in their experience the main reasons a client would be transferred to hospital for end of life care were as a result of a family request, pain management and unclear Advance Care Directives.…. read more

From ehospice

Hospis Malaysia Paediatric Palliative Care Workshop

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25 – 27 September 2015 @ Hospis Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

Today, many children and families are suffering from various limiting illness. Paediatric palliative care offers a specialized approach in dealing with not just the diseases, but also the symptoms and issues related to physical, psychological, social and spiritual distress derived from the illness.

Approaches to communication, clinical decision making, placement of care, ethical issues and organizational and personal care issues are some of the topics which will be covered and discussed in this 3-days workshop.

This workshop is supported by the Asia Pacific Palliative Care Network and the International Children’s Paediatric P alliative Care Network whose Chief Executive, Joan Marston will lead the workshop. An experienced Paediatric Palliative Care Nurse from South Africa, Joan will be supported by Dr Ross Drake, Clinical Director of Paediatric Palliative Care Starship Children’s Hospital from New Zealand and Drs David Vickers and Linda Maynard, both from East Anglia’s Children Hospices in the United Kingdom.

The interactive workshop will be conducted in English and will suit doctors and nurses working with children. Places will be limited. APHN members get a discount!

Registration submission can be made either online at our website: www.hospismalaysia.org or emailed to: education@hospismalaysia.org or faxed to: 603 9133 3941. For further enquiries, kindly contact Ms. Yap Wai Mun at telephone: 03 9133 3936 extension 267.

Two weeks left to apply for bursary to attend Hospice23 conference in UK

160715Bursaries are still available to attend Hospice23’s upcoming conference, being held between 16 and 19 October 2015 in North Devon, UK.

The conference, with the theme: ‘Compassionate Care? Exploring how we provide compassionate care in today’s high pressured world’, aims to help those who work in palliative care to return to work affirmed, with new ideas, invigorated, motivated and refreshed.

The conference will commence on the evening of Friday 16 October with introductions and setting the scene for the conference.

Saturday and Sunday offer speaker-led presentations, small group discussions on a wide variety of related topics, moving from the more clinical and fact based towards the spiritual and reflective.

There will be time to share as a group, time to evaluate your own practice and space to consider its impact on you as an individual.

Sunday afternoon will have a couple of free hours to allow participants to enjoy the wonderful scenic surroundings or do some craft related activities.

You can find out more about the event and access the conference programme on the Hospice 23 website.

Hospice 23 are inviting participants from any country to apply for a bursary to cover the cost of conference attendance. Contact Catherine D’Souza to find out how to apply.

Dementia care research highlights some harsh realities


A research survey that began by looking into the wellbeing of family carers of people with dementia has emerged as the catalyst for a far more complex investigation, which in turn highlights an issue broader than dementia care alone.

Griffith University’s Menzies Health Institute researcher Dr Siobhan O’Dwyer had been exploring a number of factors affecting carers of people with dementia. These included suicide risk, self-efficacy, physical health, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, optimism, burden, coping strategies, and social support.

Dr O’Dwyer and her colleagues surveyed nearly 600 family carers for her research with the Institute’s Centre for Health Practice Innovation. The study revealed that one in six carers had seriously contemplated suicide in the previous 12 months, with one-third of those likely to attempt suicide in the future.

A note from one carer – about the possibility of contemplating homicide – prompted a further study with interviews of 21 family carers of people with dementia. Dr O’Dwyer said this follow-up study revealed some carers actively contemplated killing the person they were caring for, while others had ‘passive death wishes’, hoping that the person might die in their sleep…read more

From ehospice

Advance Care Planning strategies – a workshop held in Thailand


Healthcare providers, policy makers, and legal officers across Thailand joined to share their knowledge regarding Advance Care Planning (ACP), one of the most challenging issues they face in their work, at the sixth Thai Palliative Care Society (THAPS) Pal2Know workshop in Bangkok last month.

Even though a law about Advance Directives has been in place since 2007, dispute and unrest are still high among those who work in palliative care, partially due to the lack of knowledge and practical guidelines on the subject.

This workshop, supported by THAPS and Thai Health Promotion Foundation, acted as a vital bridge between palliative care workers and policy makers to discuss key components and strategies that would lead to more success of ACP in Thailand.

The workshop comprised of two days panel discussion. The first day focused on an easier and more concise definition of ACP for the greater public and individual stories about each person’s experience of ACP..read more

From ehospice

Palliative Care Symposium in Singapore by LCPC & SHC


Palliative Care Symposium @ Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore on 8 October

The Lien Centre for Palliative Care (LCPC) and Singapore Hospice Council (SHC) are pleased to announce a one day symposium focusing on Palliative Care (PC) in Singapore. The morning will consist of presentations, followed by a lunch in honor of World Palliative Care Day. The afternoon will consist of facilitated group discussions to improve PC services, research and education in Singapore. LCPC & SHC, along with other stakeholders, will follow up on the discussions to strategise on the most promising projects to pursue.

Topics that will be presented include

  • Ministry of Health (MOH) Update on Ministry PC Initiatives
  • Current Palliative Care Educational Landscape in Singapore
  • Collaboration in Palliative Care Education
  • and many more!

Many renowned speakers in the field will be speaking on the various palliative care topics. The Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) chairman, Professor Cynthia Goh, will be presenting on the topic “Review of Recommendations from National Strategy for Palliative Care”.

This palliative care symposium will be held at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel on 8 October.

Register for the FREE symposium here!