ecancermedicalscience

Conference Report

Inspiration, innovation and integration: highlights from the third ICPCN conference on children’s palliative care, 30th May-2nd June 2018, Durban, South Africa

11 Sep 2018
Julia Downing, Sue Boucher, Julia Ambler, Tracey Brand, Zodwa Sithole, Busi Nkosi, Michelle Meiring, Elizabeth Gwyther, Lorna Sithole, Barbara Steel, Alex Daniels

The International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) held its third international conference on children’s palliative care in Durban, South Africa, from May 30 2018 to 2 June 2018. The conference—inspiration, innovation and integration—brought together 250 participants from 41 countries and was held in conjunction with local partners—Umduduzi Hospice Care for Children, Palliative Treatment for Children South Africa (Patch SA) and the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of South Africa. It built on national and global developments in palliative care such as its inclusion in Universal health coverage (UHC), the Lancet Commission report on pain and palliative care and the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and aimed to raise the profile of children’s palliative care in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and nationally. Seven pre-conference workshops were held prior to the conference on topics such as pain and symptom management, children’s palliative care within a humanitarian crisis, perinatal palliative care, research, developing programmes, ethical issues and difficult conversations in children’s palliative care. Delegates were welcomed in true Durban style at the welcome reception hosted by the City of Durban and uShaka Marine World. The opening plenary included entertainment from the Open Air School and Hillcrest Primary School, and inspirational talks from the Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Health, a representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Chief Executive of ICPCN and the Noble Peace Prize Nominee Dr MR Rajagopal from Pallium India. Plenary sessions were interspersed throughout the conference with 56 oral concurrent presentations and workshops, six ‘Meet the expert sessions’ 100 poster presentations and the South African Premier of the film ‘Hippocratic: 18 Experiments in gently shaking the world’. There was a great feeling of networking and learning throughout the conference, with the conference being well evaluated, and an increase in the level of presentations and research from previous conferences demonstrating the steps that are being taken in children’s palliative care globally.

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