Tania Pastrana, RWTH Aachen University, Germany, and Liliana De Lima, International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, are members of an international working group that has just published Latin America’s first-ever palliative care atlas.
After many years of planning and two years of hard work, we have finally finished the Atlas of Palliative Care in Latin America. The Atlas, published during the last days of December 2012, presents a global vision of the palliative care situation in 19 countries of Latin America whose official language is either Spanish or Portuguese.
The Atlas is based on surveys completed by 59 palliative care professionals from all countries, and is the first study that presents an overview of the palliative care status at the country and regional levels in Latin America.
This project was started by the Latin American Association for Palliative Care (ALCP is its Spanish acronym), in cooperation with the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, the European Association for Palliative Care, the Spanish Association for Palliative Care and the University of Navarra in Spain. We are very grateful that the Palliative Care Initiative at the Open Society Foundations (OSF) provided a grant to the ALCP, which made this project possible. The members of the working group include: Tania Pastrana (principal investigator), Liliana De Lima (director), Carlos Centeno (senior adviser), Roberto Wenk, Jorge Eisenchlas, Carolina Monti and Javier Rocafort.
An opportunity to build partnerships outside Latin America
One of the results identified from the Atlas is that Latin American countries have established collaboration for palliative care programmes and projects outside the region with only three countries: United States, Spain and the United Kingdom. This highlights the opportunity to build partnerships and we hope that palliative care workers in Latin America will reach out to colleagues in other countries of the world and expand this network of collaboration; at the same time it’s an invitation to countries with developed structures to collaborate in the worldwide development as agreed in the Declaration of Venice.
We are confident and excited about how the Atlas will drive the development of palliative care by facilitating communication, research studies and cross-fertilization in Latin America.