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.

The Ecstasy and the Agony: Working with the Paralysed

2014 October 31

People ask us: How can you keep working with so much of suffering? Is it not depressing?

And we keep responding, There is pain in it; but also enormous satisfaction. Let us tell you the story of Geetha (not her real name).

We are very proud of our extended family structure. But everything in this world has its positives and negatives.

Geetha had an accident and became paralysed from the waist down. She has a loving husband and two loving children. Geetha came to us in tremendous pain, both of the body and of the mind. It was easier to take care of the physical pain. Our wonderful team that we are so proud of – Dr Shibu, the Physical Medicine specialist, Mr Sunaj, the Physiotherapist, and Ms. Vergin, our social worker – worked with her. Today, Geetha, who used to be bed-bound all the time, has learned how to move herself from the bed to a wheelchair and she can now cook and take care of the children. How fulfilling it is for a mother to be able to do her children’s hair and to look after their various needs!

Despite all this, despite the love of the husband and children, the dynamics of the extended family were such that Geetha is having to move out of her home. She is going to be an inmate in a special care place. We rejoice for your new-found freedom, Geetha; we also weep with you, for having to leave your home.

May you discover new worlds and may you revel in the love that your husband and children are giving you, and the love that you are giving them.

The Elders and Palliative Care: a date with the Social Security Mission, Kerala

2014 October 31

On the 22nd of October, Pallium India spent time at a workshop organized by the Social Security Mission of Kerala, a vibrant, dynamic governmental organization.

India’s healthcare system has had a national policy for elder care, for a long time. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of the 70 million-odd elders in India, quality care is not within their reach. A significant majority of the elders needs palliative care.

At least in Kerala, the palliative care activity has established a rich network all over the state. It makes so much sense for the two activities to work together, making a tremendous impact.

The meeting on October 22nd discussed these modalities in detail. We hope to move forward!

Energizing Kochi

2014 October 31

Kochi (Cochin) is perhaps the most vibrant city in Kerala, forming the business hub of the state. Pallium India got energized by three events in Kochi in which it took part. The first was on the 6th October 2014, where we had an elaborate discussion with the local branch of Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine (ISCCM). You might remember our earlier communication, announcing the joint declaration by ISCCM and Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) regarding End of Life Care in the context of critical care.

On the 16th of October, 2014 (World Anaesthesia Day), we had two events. The first was the opening of a new palliative care centre at Lisie Hospital, Kochi. This is really a major event. A pharmaceutical company associated with the institution and housed within its campus has been making low cost morphine for all Kerala, for about 15 years. The hospital now starts its own palliative care service.

And finally, we had a meeting organized by the Cochin branch of the Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists. They gave anISA Kochi award of honour to the Chairman of Pallium India, Dr M. R. Rajagopal, and in the process, handed over a sheaf of cheques, more than twenty of them – collected by the members and well-wishers – to go towards support for Pallium India.

 

So much activity, so much enthusiasm. We are proud to work with activists in Kochi.

 

A forum for palliative care nurses

2014 October 31

The inaugural conference of the Association of Community Nurses in Palliative Care was held in Kozhikode recently. The conference was opened by Calicut University Vice Chancellor M. Abdul Salam.Nurses Association Inauguration

The forum would help palliative care nurses to raise their concerns and work towards improved training facilities and better compensation.

Director of the Institute of Palliative Medicine, Dr. K. Sureshkumar, palliative care organiser, Jose Pulimootil, Dr Anil Kumar Paleri, State president of the nurses association, K.V. Sinimol, and many others spoke on the occasion. More than 100 nurses from different parts of Kerala attended the conference.

Read the report in The Hindu.

Click here to read about the Association of Community Nurses in Palliative Care (in Malayalam).

We are making progress with undergraduate medical education and palliative care

2014 October 30

On the 28th of October, Pallium India spent a whole day with newly qualified doctors at SUT Academy of Medical Sciences, Vattappara, Trivandrum. They have just passed their MBBS examination and are going to have one year of practical hands-on experience as house surgeons before they become full-fledged doctors.

What enthusiasm! We are so very glad that we had the opportunity to talk to them before their first day as doctors. They are so full of eagerness and compassion, and somehow we have to make sure that the health care system does not make them numb and unresponsive. Here are some of the responses:

“Very intriguing and moving. Till now, I was in total darkness about the plight of millions of people in horrific pain.”

“Sessions were very informative and addressed many issues that I would not have otherwise noticed. It made me realize that my chosen profession is indeed a noble one.”

“Till now we were not aware about pain and palliative management which is highly essential as being a part of medical system.”

Young doctors, all the best to you. May you enjoy your profession.