WONCA Special Interest Group highlights palliative care in Rio.

The Rio pre-conference of the WONCA SIG on Cancer and Palliative care attracted a large group, including many Brazilians eager to hear about palliative care in the community internationally.

Prof Geoff Mitchell first welcomed everyone and explained the vision of the SIG and of the International Primary Palliative Care Network which had members in every continent.

Prof Scott Murray then highlighted the recent WHO manual on integrating palliative care in all settings, especially the community. He had contributed to this very useful manual which spells out how palliative care can be integrated in primary care in various high, middle and low income countries.

Then Dr Santiago Correa illustrated how his project in Brazil works so that others could learn from it. See link to EAPC blog. This was received very enthusiastically. The new President of WONCA, Professor Amanda Howe, visited the special interest group and encouraged us to continue over the next few years in this priority area for primary care.

During the WONCA conference itself we held a “basics of palliative care” session for GPs which lasted three hours. Daniel Azevedo and Claudia Buria, both from Brazil, presented in a very dynamic= fashion key issues about identifying and helping people with frailty and dementia. Geoff Mitchell then gave a clear basic talk on symptom control. Again there was much enthusiasm around this. Slides will be available on www.ippcn.org see picture attached.

On the last day of WONCA Brazil there was a special panel on palliative care when we heard presentations from Geoff Mitchell (summarising palliative care in Latin America using a presentation from Dr Liliana deLima (USA), Maria Goretti Sales (Brazil), Thomas Martin (Costa Rica), and Santiago Correa (Brazil) In closing, Scott Murray (UK) who showed a 4 minute video giving a 4 dimensional rationale for early palliative care which was well received, and which soon should be available as a teaching aid for students and postgraduate teaching for nurses, doctors and allied health professionals.

There will be great opportunities for further palliative care input at WONCA in Seoul in 2 years’ time and in regional conferences before then. Meanwhile the SIG and International palliative Care Network are going ahead to help different countries to integrate palliative care in primary care, using the Toolkit developed by the EAPC Taskforce and WONCA in 2016.

Scott Murray,
Co-chair of WONCA cancer and Palliative Care SIG