Dr Prabhakaran Nair, Project Head, Pallium India, writes:
During routine monitoring of the new palliative care center at Pramukhswamy Medical College, Karamsad, Anand, I had the opportunity to attend the anniversary celebrations of their cancer center. The very well organized function was attended by patients and relations who expressed their happiness on receiving excellent care. I had the opportunity to meet and discuss palliative care with Smt Amrita Patel, the Chairperson of the Trust, Dean Dr Utpala Kharod and many of the faculty in Oncology and Neurology who regularly refer patients to the palliative care center. Smt Patel was all praise for the effectiveness of palliative care in the service of chronic patients. She offered all support to this venture. We would like to express our gratitude to her.
The committed services of Dr Alpa Patel, Dr Dinesh Kumar, Dr Shyam and Dr Namrata along with Ms Rekha Mcwan has helped the centre to present good results.
The Indian Alliance of Patient Groups (IAPG), an umbrella body of 12 organizations, met up in New Delhi on 18 August 2016. Dr Geeta Joshi, palliative care physician and deputy director of the Regional Cancer Centre at Ahmedabad, represented Pallium India.
We thank Dr D S Ratna Devi, founding member of IAPG and Founder & CEO, DakshamA Health, for this important initiative.
On the 30th of August, we helped conduct an opioid access workshop. Unlike the usual opioid access workshops that we do, here that part of the work was easy. The Drug Controller was very well-informed. There were no issues on that subject brought up during discussions, despite the background of a high incidence of addiction in Mizoram.
There was a very healthy discussion on involvement of voluntary organizations and on reaching out to the community, much of it led by Dr Jeremy Pautu, Dr Eric Zomawia of National Health Mission and Dr Sanghluna Renthlei.
Thank you Dr Sanghluna for organising the event and for leading the palliative care program. Thank you Dr Lalchhanhima Ralte for connecting us with this institution in the first place and for reaching out into the community.
Dr Seema Rao, consulting psychiatrist from Mumbai, narrates this account of Sunder, a 38-year old driver who came to her hospice. He was suffering from penile cancer that had metastasized to the lymph nodes, lungs, and liver. “I don’t think you can do much for me. I have seen so many doctors, taken so many medicines, nothing helps. I want to die,” he said, his voice resonating with despair.
The narrative titled “Finding Peace Beyond the Pain” describes the journey of Sunder in the hospice. A caring husband and a doting father, he came to the hospice by force, in immense pain and suffering. He stayed on by choice and found the peace he was looking for, ably supported by the dedicated hospice team. He was able to live the last few months of his life as comfortably as was possible, and left this world in peace, with dignity. The narrative reiterates the belief that hospice, with its philosophy of active “total care” is an ideal place for addressing the concept of “total pain.”
Read the complete narrative published in the Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy.
The Journal of Pain and Palliative care Pharmacotherapy is an indexed journal that has made the narratives free access. The journal welcomes your Narratives on Pain, Suffering and Relief. Tell your story to the world and help improve palliative care awareness. If you have a story to narrate, share it with us. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Program for Palliative Care (NPPC) is now operational since 2012; however budget allocation has not been made and funds are now available for states directly from the NCD flexipool. Programme implementation plan (PIP) for palliative care needs to be submitted by the states. Model PIP is available on the website of the Directorate General of Health Services.
Palliative Care still lacks clarity despite being in practice in India for two decades. The group emphasized the need to include all diseases and not just cancer under the purview of palliative care.
A detailed action plan was drawn up for each state and the person(s) responsible for this identified.