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.

Minimum palliative care standards for health care?

2016 June 30

Scar around the neck“If you have been in palliative care long enough in India, the sight of a person with an ugly scar around the neck would not be unfamiliar to you. Hanging is the preferred mode of attempted suicide in our country, and many people are driven to it by unrelieved pain, the extent of which, in many disease states, can be beyond an ordinary human being’s power of imagination. The National Crime Records Bureau showed that 26,426 people in the country, suffering from various ailments, chose to end their lives in 2013.”

Please see the special editorial in the July-September 2016 issue of the Indian Journal of Palliative Care by Dr M. R. Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India. To reduce the sad burden of pain and suffering in the country, he argues, we should be demanding that healthcare system at all levels must include basic palliative care satisfying some minimum essential standards.

Read the open access article titled “We Have a Responsibility” published in the Indian Journal of Palliative Care.

An important conversation to have

2016 June 28

The author asks her mother, “By the way, when I die, I want this-and-this to be done. I don’t want that-and-that to be done. How about you?” She notes that the answer came so naturally.

Knowing what misery can come out of inappropriate end of life care, no doubt these conversations are so crucial. But for most people, it is not easy to talk about death. Perhaps, it is not so difficult, after all. Please read Death: An important conversation to have, published in The Hindu by Jeena R. Papaadi, Pallium India’s Advocacy Officer.

International Update on Pain Management at Dehradun

2016 June 28

Dehradun
Mr Sathyanarayan Das, Under Secretary, Department of Revenue, Government of India, was the chief guest at an opioid-access workshop held in Dehradun on 25 June, 2016 for the state of Uttarakhand.

Organised by Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Medical and Health Sciences in collaboration with government officials and the public, this meeting was clearly a giant step forward in decreasing the pain burden in Uttarakhand.

Thank you, Dr Mayank Gupta, Dr Aditi Chaturvedi, Dr Brenda Ward and all others who made this possible.

Discrimination in the name of a diagnosis

2016 June 27

Would anyone argue against a statement that people with chronic pain generally suffer enormously through their lives? Except that they look okay and that they may have normal life spans, is there any other reason why palliative care people do not think they have anything to do with it? Not life-threatening enough? Even if all your activities, social interactions and even thinking process are limited by the disease called chronic pain? Read how a patient is afraid to visit a pain clinic. We have seen this phenomenon, time and again.

Training the Trainers – We are increasing capacity!

2016 June 27

In a bid to increase the capacity for advocacy and training in palliative care, Pallium India organized a “training of trainers” program in Delhi for a dozen “middle-level” palliative care champions in the country.

Over the three days, the focus was on empowering the participants on how to facilitate learning, because we see all of them as not only clinicians, but also teachers – for students, for fellow-professionals, and for the public at large. The group also spent a lot of time understanding the current status of the National Program in Palliative Care and the Amendment of the Narcotics Act of India. The group brainstormed on our way forward.

We had done a similar exercise in Trivandrum last year, and the success was phenomenal. One of the participants of the last year’s training, Dr Seema Kunikullaya Rao, was one of the faculty members this time. She was joined by Dr Sushma Bhatnagar from AIIMS, Delhi, Dr Nandini Vallath and Dr M. R. Rajagopal.

ToT

Three participants demonstrating role play as a teaching tool – Dr. Parul Prinja as the doctor, Dr Kumar Abhishek as the son and Professor Parveen Kumar as the husband of a patient.