Capacity Building and Empowerment at the Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University

A one-week multidisciplinary palliative care seminar "Capacity Building and Empowerment" was held from the 25th of November to the 29th of November 2019 in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine.

A multidisciplinary post-graduate palliative care training proposed and designed by our WHO CC at the Institute of Nursing Science and Practice was piloted and evaluated at the Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University in Ukraine. This one week capacity building course was initiated to support palliative care education related developments in the WHO European region.

The trainers, Dr. Andreas Stähli from the Johannes Hospice Muenster, Dr. Elisabeth Jentschke from the University Clinic Wuerzburg, PD Dr. Johannes Bükki from the Regional Hospital St. Gallen and Dr. Piret Paal from the Paracelsus Medical Private University (PMU) in Salzburg have worked hard to gather knowledge on best evidence and provide relevant examples of best practice to all fifty-eight course participants across Ukraine. Immense support in organizational matters has been provided by Ukrainian collaborators, the Vice-president of the Ivano-Fankivsk National Medical University Prof. Anna Ersteniuk and the head of the local hospice Dr. Iryna Slugotska.

All course materials, such as curriculum template, slides, etc., were translated into Ukrainian prior to the course, and made accessible online. 

Palliative care is developing slowly and adequate and comprehensive palliative and hospice care is not available in Ukraine. I am pleased that steps are being taken to change the situation and the Capacity Building and Empowerment course in Ivano-Frankivsk is one of these steps,” says Katya Gavrylasch, a nurse from local hospice.

"I was interested in the issue of communication with the patient. I gained a new approach to answer frequent questions, such as "How much time I have left?" or "Could you help me to die to end the suffering?" I realized that it was important not to give a correct answer, but to find the reason, why patients ask such questions at the first place," adds Svetlana Chernyak from Ivano-Frankivsk Outpatient Consultation Service. 

The course ended on Friday, the 29th of November. All participants - tired, but very pleased and thankful -  received a special PMU certificate for their one-week-long learning effort.

The event was covered by local news agencies ОТБ "ГАЛИЧИНА" and ІФ ОДА. The media footage in Ukrainian language is accessible here  (TV news) and here (newspaper article).