At this moment, over a million people in India are in unimaginable pain. We refuse to look the other way. We choose to hear the cry, and to do what we can.
Please join us. Your help is needed.

Our little contribution towards a green earth:

2017 April 25

That is the first organic vegetable harvest from the roof-top of Pallium India’s Trivandrum Institute. No wonder our Sreelekshmi is looking so proud about it.

Thank you Sr Hanife for funding this program!

No; sorry; they are not on sale. It goes to the kitchen of our half way home for people with spinal cord injuries!

Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Care

2017 April 24

Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Care (CCEPC), conducted by Indian Association of Palliative Care will begin on 1st June 2017, at Arumana Hospital Building, Perunthanni, Thiruvananthapuram.

It is a basic course in Palliative Care for Doctors and Nurses. This course aims to inculcate the principles of palliative care to improve patient care through proper communication and effective management of difficult symptoms. This program will help doctors and nurses in their day to day professional life.

Who can apply?

Doctors who have successfully completed MBBS/ BDS (including those doing their internship) and Nurses with Diploma in Nursing/ Bsc Nursing

Course Fee

A heavily subsidized course fee of ₹2000/- for doctors and ₹1500/- for nurses

Registered candidates who do not clear the examination in the first attempt will get one more chance to appear in the examination without paying additional fee.

How to apply

If you are interested to apply for this course, please download the application form, fill it up and send it to us at education@palliumindia.org

Course Outline

CCEPC has two components, Part A and an optional Part B (Hands on Training in Palliative Care)

Part A consists of a contact session of 15 hours followed by 8 weeks of distant learning. This will be followed by an evaluation consisting of theory examination and spotter examination. The examination will be in August 2017.

The candidate also have to submit a Reflective Case History (online submission), which will be evaluated by National Faculty.

Candidate successful in the theory and spotter examination and those who have secured pass grade in the Reflective e Case History will be awarded the Certificate in Essentials of Palliative Care.

Part B, Hands-on Training in Palliative Care, is optional and consists of 10 days Hands-on Training. This should be done at a palliative care unit authorized by IAPC. At the end of the 10 days posting, the candidate has to submit a logbook duly attested by the mentor.

The certificate awarded to candidates who successfully complete the Hands on Training will enable them to apply for license to stock and dispense oral morphine under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Course Content

  • Introduction to Palliative Care
  • Communication Skills
  • Spirituality, Ethics in Medical Practice, Psychological Issues
  • Management of Pain and other Symptoms
  • Nursing Issues
  • Palliative Care in HIV/AIDS
  • Care of the Elderly and Paediatric Palliative Care
  • Palliative Care Emergencies
  • End of Life Care

Have Queries?

Contact us: education@palliumindia.org / +91918589998760

Attitude of health care providers on dignity of patients

2017 April 23

Sarath Mohan S., Medical Social Worker at Pallium India, writes:

As a social worker, I am still learning about dignity and its importance in human life. My beliefs and ideas about dignity relate to what I have learnt and what I have experienced throughout my life. I would define dignity as a feeling of having one’s human value and worth being acknowledged. It is also associated with autonomy and having control over one’s destiny.

I would like to throw some light on the influence of health care providers in the dignity of a person, through a personal experience. My father was diagnosed with a kidney disease, a year ago. He has diabetic retinopathy and is partially blind too. Now he cannot walk without support. One day, after consultation in a corporate hospital, he was asked to wait outside the room. He waited in a wheelchair for the support staff to come.

No one turned up for a long time. When we – the family members – tried to move the wheelchair, they did not allow us to do so. Their motto was, “We are here to care for you. You do not need to do anything.”

So my father ended up waiting for more than half an hour in that hospital corridor. He has physical limitations which confine him to a wheelchair. But his dignity and self-respect does not have any confinement! I noticed his devastated face clearly because of being hurt and undignified. The same hospital staff, so-called ‘compassionate health care providers’, did not even ask his permission before giving an injection or checking blood pressure. I wonder how these ‘compassionate health care providers’ justify themselves personally and professionally for treating patients without respecting their dignity. This is not just the case of my father, but of many other patients as well.

Anybody working in health care has the prodigious opportunity and a responsibility to think about others’ dignity and how they personally influence the experience of the people whom they care for. Especially from palliative care point of view, maintaining dignity warrants compassion. Seeing a person as a person first is paramount, not just as a diagnosis or a container of diseases. Every person’s self-image and the way in which health care providers see that has an intimate connection. That means, patients and families expect a lot from the health care providers. It is the responsibility of health care providers to meet their needs.

Only after working at Pallium India did I get the big picture of compassionate care and respecting the dignity of a person. Every nursing procedure will be carried out only after a “May I…..?”. Communication of bad news will be always done in empathetic and systematic way. I have seen nurses who speak to apparently unconscious patients before medical procedures and shifting. There is no better way to respect their dignity. In palliative care, we strive to improve the quality of life of patient and families and thereby we are respecting/valuing their dignity. We give a voice to the patient regarding one’s own process of dying, minimizing physical and emotional suffering, respecting their privacy, and caring for them with empathy. We see them as people who are seeking help with a medical concern.

Patients would like to see themselves through health care providers. If they are able to see that, we have done something remarkable to respect and maintain their dignity. Understanding the suffering of others and willingness or a wish to make a difference in people’s life is all what we need to do to value the dignity of that person. So we health care providers should have the desire for that.

I have not come across any better definition of dignity than these great words by Dame Cicely Saunders. Remembering that great lady with huge respect and passion.

“You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.”

(Image: Sarath with a patient)

Engineering Students in support of palliative care

2017 April 21

PACE, the palliative care club of College of Engineering Trivandrum (CET), organized a one-day workshop on palliative care, on 2nd April 2017. The program was attended by staff and students of CET. Pallium India’s Advocacy Manager, Babu Abraham, HR Manager, Arathy Venukumar, Volunteer Leela Devi, Volunteer Krishnaraj Nambiar and Medical Social Worker Sherin Wilfred, spoke to the participants about the significance of palliative care in today’s society and shared their own experiences. Leela Devi also put forward some suggestions to PACE on how to contribute to palliative care. Dr K C Raveendranathan, Principal, CET, also addressed the audience.

Praveen T A, General Secretary of PACE, described the future plans of PACE, incuding the decision to conduct ward-level survey in Kulathoor division of Trivandrum Corporation for identifying people who need palliative care and support and to provide help.

Dear staff and students of College of Engineering Trivandrum, thank you for your support to palliative care. Your eagerness to help our fellow human beings excites us.

Salute the fighting angel, Odontuya Devaasuren.

2017 April 18

Dr M. R. Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, writes:

Dr Odontoya Devaasuren during the leadership course at Columbus, Ohio.

Some people make you feel so humbled! Dr Odontuya Devaasuren is one such.

Thanks to a leadership development course conducted by Dr Frank Ferris and team in San Diego, California, and Columbus, Ohio, I had the good fortune to spend a few weeks with and to make friends with this amazing source of energy.

While a medical student in Leningrad, she had to witness her father suffering from lung cancer back in Mongolia. Later, her mother-in-law also died in suffering from liver cancer.

But this exceptional woman made great good come out of her father’s and mother-in-law’s suffering. She brought palliative care to Mongolia. She worked hard, forcefully and persistently, to bring in changes in government policies. Some policies were downright crazy. In a country where food had to be rationed, the ration included two bottles of vodka every time!

But Odontuya was so successful in changing policies and in influencing medical education that in 2015, Mongolia came 28th among 80 countries in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Quality of Death Index” (though it is only a low-middle income country, coming 124th among world nations in gross national income). Compare that with India, another low-middle income country, listed as 67th out of 80!

Read this article by Andrew North, friends, and join me in saluting the compassionate fighting angel, Odontuya Devaasuren.