Dr Arjun Devarajan, Palliative Care Physician at Pallium India, writes:
The 28th annual international conference of Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPCON 2021) was held from 19th to 21st of March 2021 at AIIMS Patna, the land where enlightenment dawned upon those who sought. This first ever online conference of IAPC was organized under the leadership of Dr U K Bhadani (Organising secretary) and Dr Chandni Sinha (Scientific secretary).
The motto of the conference was ‘Searching Empathy Through Research’.
The event started with impressive workshops on End of life care and communication for doctors and nurses, conducted by faculties from different parts of the country. Putting an end to all uncertainties and apprehensions, IAPCON 2021 was inaugurated at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Patna by Prof. Prabhat Kumar Singh, Director, AIIMS Patna. Scientific sessions of the conference were held from 4 PM to 8 PM and where led by eminent personalities from various parts of the world. Day 1 included insightful and captivating sessions on Pain, Kidney Supportive Care, Palliative Nursing and Spiritual Care, and concluded with a session on the evaluation of IAPC’s Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Care.
Day 2 of the conference witnessed very interesting and interactive scientific sessions on Paediatric Palliative Care and Psychosocial Distress. This was followed by a very innovative infotainment session which played a series of short video clips from various movies which implicitly depicted palliative care and its various components, like Munnabhai MBBS and Anand, where the selected scenes portrayed the importance of good communication skills, the importance of firing warning shots at the right time, impact of breaking bad news, the stages in grief, etc. Next, Cipla Foundation presented a session on early involvement for palliative care. The balanced day concluded with an adrenaline filled and interactive virtual quiz session.
Day 3 began with a session on breathlessness, one of the most common and distressing symptoms seen among several advanced diseases. It was led by Pallium India’s friend, Dr. Sunita Daniel (Specialist Medical Officer, Palliative Medicine, National Health Mission, Ernakulam). The next session showcased the work done by 4 NGOs and volunteers from Golden Butterflies (Chennai), Pratisruti (Dibrugarh), Pain and Palliative Care Society (Hyderabad) and Age Care Foundation (Vishakhapatnam); highlighted the important role of psycho-social rehabilitation in palliative care and how these NGOs complimented the services of cash strapped palliative care facilities. Following this was a session on Supportive Care in Cancer which covered topics related to Oncological emergencies and supportive care. The final session for IAPCON2021 was the Quality Improvement (QI) session led by Dr. Nandini Vallath (Director, QI HUB, National Cancer Grid, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai).
There were 92 poster presentations and 6 paper presentations at the conference. The E-posters were displayed on the conference platform, including four from Pallium India, authored by Dr Deepak Varughese, Dr Arjun Devarajan, Nurse Reshma Sreekumar and MSW Elna Joseph. (Scroll down to see these posters.)
Cancer Aid Society’s International Award for Excellence in Palliative Care
The conference also witnessed the declaration of most awaited and anticipated ‘International Award for Excellence in Palliative Care 2020-21’ where our own Ashla Rani was declared a winner in ‘Volunteers’ category. Kudos to her!!! Mr Suresh T. P., Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi won the award in the ‘Nursing’ category and Dr. Stanley Macaden, Founder of Palliative Care Service at Bangalore Baptist Hospital, Bangalore, and National Coordinator of Palliative Care Programs, Christian Medical Association India was the recipient under the ‘Doctors’ category.
We look forward to seeing everyone in person at IAPCON 2022 which will be held at Jaipur, the Pink City of India, in February 2022.