February 1oth to 12th saw the XIV International conference of the Indian Association of Palliative Care. It was hosted by Dr Mary Muckaden and her team at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbaiwhich is one of India's most famous cancer hospitals. Well done to the whole team for all their hard work! It was a great event with good conference sessions focusing on paediatric issues and some of the best posters and free papers of any conference so far. Here are 2 friends and former students Dr's Biju and Sunil (now in Alpha Pain Clinic, Trichur) enjoying a working lunch. It was also a lovely occasion to meet old friends and colleagues and forge new connections and friendships. There were innovative pieces of research being started including an very good early paper on sexuality issues from Manjeri. It is an important time for colleagues who work in isolated areas to have an opportunity to share. One such person is Dr Ujwal who works on her own in Chatisgargh, a state where there is great need - many tribal groups, no palliative care services and no oral morphine available. Dr Ujwal has asked if we can visit and help and this is very much the vision for Cairdeas - to offer support when asked and needed. There was also a colleague from Bangladesh at the conference for the first time forging new links across the borders..
International colleagues and speakers included Michael and Liz Minton, David Oliviere, Richard Hain, Gilly Burn, Jeremy and Penny Johnstone, Nathan Cherney, Suresh Reddy, Nick Pahl, Paul McCann and others!!! We had a whistle stop tour of Mumbai in the crazy traffic and saw the famous dhobi ghat. This is the world's biggest outdoor laundry where, every day, thousands of items of clothing are washed by hand (and feet), pressed with wood fire heated irons and returned to the correct owners!! Around 200 workers and their families literally live on the job!! I also enjoyed a bel puri and mango kulfi on Chowpatty beach with Nathan with no ill effects. Thanks to all for a great time in Mumbai.