Leadership and Palliative Care in Asia

October 27th, 2016 in Conference Features

Author: Ayda Nambayan

Affiliation: Training Consultant, The Ruth Foundation, Alabang, Metro Manila, Philippines 


Before the International Conference on Cancer Nursing, I had the privilege to participate in the 1st Asian Leadership Conference of the End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) held in Hong Kong, China on September 3, 2016. Twenty seasoned ELNEC trainers from 6 countries participated (Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, US and Philippines) in this 1-day workshop. It was an awesome meeting – learning new leadership skills and validating old ones, plus sharing successes and lessons learned in years of providing ELNEC education in their respective countries. In many ways, ELNEC courses had been transformed to fit the needs within the country – translated into local languages and content adapted to concur with the culture and beliefs – all of them making ELNEC a usable tool to educate nurses and other health care providers in palliative care. The work that has been done was phenomenal and in my mind, Asia should have one of the best standards in palliative care nursing practice. Unfortunately, this was not so.

In reality, in this densely populated region of the world, many patients died without the benefit of palliative and end-of-life care. Only 3 Asian countries (Japan, Singapore, Korea) and two Special Administrative RegionofChina(HongKong SAR and TaiwanSAR) had palliative care largely integrated into mainstream health care system. Mainland China, Malaysia and Mongolia had started integration of palliative care while the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and India had isolated or patchy palliative care services. And then, there are the countries with no known palliative care activities like Afghanistan, Bhutan, North Korea, Laos, and many of the Pacific Island nations (Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance, International Observatory on End of Life Care, 2011). It is interesting to note that most of the nurse leaders presented in this meeting are from the countries with the most development. Did this imply that these nurses were the ones who forged their governments to create provisions so that palliative and end-of-life care coulebecome  a major part of their health care system? Or, was it because that these nurses worked so tirelessly to advocate for palliative and end-of-life care, training their own nursesone group at a timeuntil they made a difference in many lives and got heard by the powers-to-be?  It really does not matter,the important thing was  that these nurses led a significant change not only in their health care systems but also in many lives of dying patients and their families. I was  humbled by the accomplishments of these nurses and yet, they were here in this meeting, looking for ways to work together and share resources in order to further advance the care of the dying and their families.

By the time we all parted ways, these pioneering nurses agreed to work together so that palliative care would be an Asian tradition and not just an experience. What an awesome group!

For more information about the ELNEC training and resources, or if you would like to connect with this group, please contact Pamela Malloy, RN, MN, FPCN, Coordinator and Co-Project Director, ELNEC,    pmalloy@aacn.nche.edu.



A Reflection of What I learnt During ICCN 2016

October 13th, 2016 in Conference Features

Author: Fauzia Pesnani

Affiliation: Head of Oncology Nursing at Dr Ziauddin Cancer Hospital Karachi, Pakistan


I had the pleasure of attending wonderful  ICCN 2016, it was a great opportunity I have ever had. Meeting with the Board members, founders and organizers was like a dream come true.  Thank ICCN for providing me with this life-time opportunity.

It was a great learning in a very friendly environment. I interacted with people working in same field. This kind of work that have been done by them is remarkable.

I have attended every session and thoroughly enjoyed each program, from pre- conference workshops to the closing ceremony (Lions Dance performance), including welcome reception (get together evening), all conferences sessions, meeting with BOD, award & scholarship ceremony. I am very impressed with Dr Stella, ISNCC President. She is very down to earth and always has a beautiful smile on face, which make her personality more vibrant.

Dr Linda Krebs possessed  exceptional leadership and made conference worthy 100million dollars. I did not meet any single person who was not happy with the conference arrangements, and everything was perfect and so well organized. The credit goes to Linda and her team.

Mr Andrew Dimech, the leading person of member development portfolio. The way he managed his time and spared his precious time for me, heard me in detail and encouraged and appreciated that I could do much more in my field, was simply Superb.

The experience of attending ICCN has not only expanded my horizon, but also provided me with a chance to make new friends and learn from their best practices. I also explored new country and was amazed to see beautiful university—“Chinese University of Hong Kong”. Many thanks to Dr Winnie SO for organizing the visit and delicious lunch.

It was a great experience to be a research poster judge and give your opinion and judgment about the great work done by young professionals.

ICCN 2016 was a global platform to discuss and learn about cancer prognosis, general issues in cancer care, unmet needs of patients and for improved handling for various types of Cancers. For an oncology nurse, to find the appropriate words to console a person who is suffering the loss of a loved one can be troublesome. And it’s challenging for us to deal with nurse’s role, health promotion, pain management, late effects of cancer treatment and long-term survivorship issues, end-of-life issues, psychological and family issues, nursing-sensitive patient outcomes and much more.


Things which I am going to apply are as follows;

  • To develop a nursing society in my country and under this umbrella will do more organized trainings and developments for our novice nurses.
  • I will give more focus on research work, and then publishing it which is hardly been done by nurses in my country.
  • I will establish patient support group to help patients and family members deal with the physical and emotional suffering caused by the cancer diagnosis and treatment. The less distress patients have, the more energy they can direct toward recovery.


The ICCN was a great opportunity to all participants. I’m looking forward to attending the upcoming conference in 2017.

ICCN 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. Save the date!