July 2012 Newsletter

2012 July 31
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Dear Friends,

Our 6 month old pediatric palliative care clinic at SAT Hospital in Government Medical College, Trivandrum is ordinarily led by our pediatric palliative care physician, Dr Sithara and by Dr Hariprasad, the Associate Professor of Pediatrics. The clinic mostly caters to children with neurological disabilities. Recently, our senior palliative care physician, Dr Nirmala, attended the clinic on a day when Sithara could not.

Here is a text message that Nirmala sent to Sithara that evening. (Name of the patient has been changed).

“The experience at S.A.T Hospital was was very touching. All those mothers, fathers, grandmothers, hugging the children to their bosoms, their eyes filled with despair, but also with love for the young ones; their caresses and whispers; Sunaj (our physiotherapist) loving his job, playfully exercising his patients; Dr Hariprasad interacting so sincerely with his patients. Something wonderful is happening here. Ayesha who has cerebral palsy is able to write her name legibly – the result of four months of joint effort of Sunaj and the mother. ……I realise how every small effort on our part makes such a huge difference to people’s lives. I am glad to be part of this team!”

It is such a huge privilege to work with children. We are very thankful to the departments of Neurology and Pediatic Neurology for this privilege, particularly to Dr Lalitha Kailas and Dr Mohammed Kunju, the heads of those Departments and to Dr Elizabeth, the medical superintendent.

WHO Collaborating Centre at TIPS inaugurated

On the 4th of July 2012, the Central Minister for Defence, Shri A.K. Antony inaugurated the WHO Collaborating Centre at Pallium India’s Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS).

Many eyes were full, as Lija stood on her two legs and sang the invocation.  She had been wheelchair bound and had been under Pallium India’s care for six years before finally she got her knees replaced thanks to the kind support of students and staff of Holy Angels ISC School at Nanthancode, under the guidance of their Principal, Rev. Sr Linnis Noronha.

Following the inauguration, Shri A.K Antony handed over to Sr Linnis Noronha a plaque of appreciation, to the loud applause of an appreciative audience.

Kerala’s Health Minister Shri V.S. Sivakumar promised support for Pallium India, and the young member of Parliament, Shri Sampath announced that he was going to follow Shri A.K. Antony’s advice and devote one day a month for palliative care.

The Worshipful Mayor Smt Chandrika and the chairman of Trida, Shri Venugopal offered felicitations.

Quite a befitting beginning to the work of the WHO Collaborating Centre.

Additional media coverage:

Let Us Welcome Pallium India’s New Executive Director

Mr Saji George, with more than thirty years of management experience behind him, has joined Pallium India as its Executive Director.

Mr Saji holds a first class master’s degree in business management with double specialization in Marketing and Human Resources Management. Prior to this appointment, he was the CEO of Basayel International (Adel Al Waqayyan Group of Companies), in Kuwait.

Welcome to the family Saji!

Pallium India-USA at Sevathon 2012

It was wonderful to have so many participating in the Sevathon 2012 on 15 July.

We had high number of registrants running and walking for Pallium, bright eye-catching t-shirts designed by Divya and her friends with the Pallium Logo.

Pallium India-USA runners and walkers won a total of 10 prizes in various categories, congratulations!

Job Opportunities with Pallium India

  • Doctors
    Full time MBBS doctors with aptitude for NGO work for its Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences – WHO collaborative centre.
  • HR Manager
    Minimum 2 years experience in HR and Pay-roll systems in an organisation of at least 100 employees and familiarity with statutory laws governing employment in private sector.
  • Finance Manager
    Minimum 2 years experience in Finance Management and proficient with Tally. Retired persons may also apply
  • Content Writer
    Versatile writers, on assignment basis, who can think “out of the box”  and generate content that will appeal to both the visitors and search engines on different subjects such as patient care services, web, IT, travel, reviews, press release etc.
  • Front Office Executive
    Energetic, pleasant, pro-active lady with fluency in English, Malayalam and preferably Hindi with a multitasking attitude.
  • Cook cum Caretaker
    Previous experience in working as cook/caretaker in an organisation/residence to be in charge of our guest house at Nanthancode.

Interested candidates may send their detailed resume to info@palliumindia.org

FRCP Conferred on Dr Nagesh Simha, President of IAPC

The Royal College of Physicians has conferred FRCP (fellowship) on Dr Nagesh Simha, the dynamic president of Indian Association of Palliative Care.

Congratulations, Dr Nagesh Simha.

We are all proud of you!

How They Saw India and Pallium India

Two of the four American students who visited us through Child Family Health Internatonal (CFHI) a couple of months back have blogged on their experience.  Take a look at what Lyndsey and Nicole had to say…

Last two weeks in Southern India

I am actually about to board my flight home now that I am finally getting around to writing this. After the program ended, I started travelling for three weeks and although I have certainly had numerous, fantastic experiences which I would have loved to share with everyone immediately, sometimes it is nice to simply disconnect from the world and solely focus on one’s surroundings at hand. It truly makes a difference in the way you experience a place once you’ve put the camera, the phone, the computer, etc. away and focus on being engaged in the world around you. – Read more…

Welcoming a new adventure.

My love of travel, exploration and health education has taken me to an entirely new part of the world, to a country bustling with life. India is home to nearly 1.2 billion people and well known for being infinitely diverse, with a wide array of social and familial customs, religious beliefs, cuisine and language varying across each state. There is so much to learn and so much to take in! Your senses are immediately overwhelmed by the sea of vibrant colors, strong smells, the incessant sound of car horns and booming music and most notably, by the masses of people maneuvering through what you can only hope is some sort of organized chaos.  – Read more…

The Kerala Way in Palliative Care Delivery

Dr Richard Smith blogs on the BMJ website about  issues relating to global access to palliative care.

What has been achieved in Kerala, he says, is a model for the rest of the world.

A way to provide palliative care globally

A palliative care service run entirely by health professionals is not only logistically impossible for most of the world but also undesirable, suggests WHO. Libby Sallnow, a research fellow from Edinburgh University, described the remarkable Neighbourhood Network in Palliative Care in Kerala, which is based on the concept that “chronic and incurable diseases are social problems with medical complications.”

[…] Kerala seems to have overtaken Britain with both access and provision of meaningful care, and its model is beginning to spread. […] Bangladesh, which at the moment has no palliative care services, hopes to learn from Kerala.

[…] The Kerala model does provide a feasible way of achieving Murray’s vision of palliative care covering “all patients, all diseases, all nations, all settings, and all dimensions.” It’s hard to see how it will be achieved in another way.

Read the full blog here…

What a huge responsibility!

Palliative care activists in Kerala now have to work hard to keep up the reputation – to make sure that palliative care maintains a minimum quality and that it reaches patients early.

PARTING SHOT: When the Sufferer is a Part of You

One of our visitors could not digest the idea of spiritual support without a chaplain. We explained about the difficulty of having a religious person in a palliative care team in a multi-religious society.

True, in theory there should be no problem; a truly spiritual chaplain should be able to offer support to a person from any faith or to an atheist. But there is often a gap between a theoretical ideal and practical politics.

So does that mean we do not offer spiritual support? Far from it. We can all help people in re-connecting with the very ordinary, yet meaningful things in life whether related to religion or not – facilitating what Kreinheder calls “meaningful things done meaningfully”.

This may mean many things, may be just some time with a pet, or a visit to relive childhood memories or just simply a life review, going through the most precious memories from the past, the successes, the failures, the regrets, the happy moments.

In the process, often, we grow spiritually too, not just the patient or family member.

 

Don’t forget to sign the Morphine Manifesto!

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