Pallium India’s visit to CFHI

2013 November 10
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The chairman of Pallium India Dr. M.R.Rajagopal and volunteer Sunshine Mugrabi were privileged to visit the offices of Child Family Health International (CFHI) in San Francisco, an organization created by Dr. Evaleen Jones when she was a medical student. We spent time with the director Dr. Jessica Evert and the team. It was a good exercise to review the program in all its aspects. Currently, four palliative care professionals from CFHI are with us in Trivandrum, going through their one month attachment.
alex macy
From one of the previous batches, two participants, Ms. Lindsay Brahm and Ms. Mary Macy Jacob (Alex) wrote narratives on their experience in Trivandrum which were published in an indexed journal – the Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy. In the picture you see Alex in our Pediatric Palliative Care clinic. Here are the abstracts, with the citation.
When two worlds meet: Lyndsey M Brahm
Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy. 2012;26:278–279.
The author is one of four American premedical students traveled to India to spend a month with Pallium India (palliumindia.org) to learn about palliative care at Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences, in the south Indian state of Kerala. The program was arranged by Child Family Health International (cfhi.org). They attended classroom sessions and joined the palliative care team during home visits and hospital consultations. They learned not just what palliative care is, but also how to understand and adapt to another culture. It was shocking to learn that all health care expenses are often out-of-pocket for most of the developing world and to see the extent of the suffering involved in life-limiting diseases. The students saw how the medical professional could adopt a basic and simple approach to medicine, acting as a mix of scientist, humanist, and spiritualist. She concludes that we in the United States too seem to be learning the value of such an approach and to make better use of available resources to improve the quality of life of those who are suffering.
Through the Eyes of Child: Reflections on My Mother’s Death From Cancer. Mary A. Macy
Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy. 2013;27:176–178.
Before being exposed to palliative care, I had lived through 15 years of emotional suffering, beginning with my mother’s relapse of leukemia. My mother died 12 years ago; however, the suffering did not end there. Palliative care helped me find meaning and purpose in my suffering. During her illness I received no explanations about what was happening to my mother, and I felt utter emotional loneliness. I received no help in coping with the uncertainties of my mother’s life with cancer or of her dying process. The experience left me sad and angry.
Sheltering a child from truth does not lessen fear or alleviate pain; it only causes feelings of confusion, anger, embarrassment and shame.
You can also read Alex’s blog on her visit here.

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