The 6th International Conference on Children’s Palliative Care in Countries of Eastern and Central Europe to be organised by the Belarusian Children’s Hospice took place at the IBB Conference Centre in Minsk in November. There were 200 delegates from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, UK, USA, India, South Africa and Serbia and two and a half days of presentations, workshops and networking.
Among the host of high profile speakers were Dr Ludmila Lyogkaya of the Belarusian Ministry of Health, Anna Garchakova founder and director of BCH, Joan Marston CEO International Children’s Palliative Care Network, Dr StefanFriedrichsdorf Minnesota Children’s Hospice, Peter Ellis CEO Richard House Hospice UK and Mary Muckaden founder of children’s palliative care in the community in India. Friends of BCH chairwoman, Daryl Ann Hardman, gave a keynote speech on the importance to a children’s hospice in Eastern Europe of having a dedicated supporting organisation in the UK. This encouraged discussion and it was decided to form an Association of Eastern and Central European Children’s Hospices. This organisation will act as an information provider and support organisation for children’s hospices and palliative care services in ‘Eastern’ Europe and former USSR countries.
Dr Stefan Friedrichsdorf