January 2014 Newsletter

2014 January 31
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Dear Friends,

WHO adopts palliative care resolution

Great news! The World Health Organization, on 23 January 2014, adopted a resolution which asks for integration of palliative care into health care systems around the world. The resolution has language that declares palliative care an ethical responsibility of health care professionals and of health care systems. It also brings in the importance of opioid access and also of psycho-socio-spiritual support and emphasizes its importance in many diseases at all stages.

You can read the resolution here.

One more chance in Parliament

The Parliament of India is meeting one more time during the term of the current Government, in February. The chances of the NDPS amendment getting through are not bright, but we are going to have a jolly good try. All guns blazing!

image00Our New Inpatient Facility

Our new inpatient facility housed in Arumana Hospital, Trivandrum had a soft launch on 3 January, 2014. It gives us great pleasure to report that this unit is functioning well and providing relief to people with difficult symptoms and for those who want to be with us at the end of their lives.

PPSG Publishes 2011 Opioid Consumption Statistics

The Pain & Policy Studies Group (PPSG) announces its annual release of new and updated opioid consumption data for 2011. For India and most developing countries, the lack of progress is disappointing.

High-income countries that comprise only 17% of the total population accounted for nearly 92% of medical morphine consumed in the world. Low- and middle-income countries, representing the remaining 83% of the world’s population, consumed a mere 8% of the total morphine consumption.

Read more about the statistics here….

Success at Jaipur

Success at Jaipur

The first six weeks course directed by Dr Anjum Khan Joad which had commenced on 25 November 2013, concluded successfully at Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital and research Centre, Jaipur on 04 January 2014. 11 professionals were trained at the course.

Pallium India is proud to be a partner in this venture and thank the Jaipur team members Manoj,Sumitra, Ms Laxmi Shekhawat,Dr Shikha Jain and Dr Anjum Khan Joad for the opportunity. This was another venture in which Project Hamrahi was involved, and we thank Dr Odette Spruyt and team too.

Hearty congratulations, Manoj, Laxmi, Shikha and Anjum.

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Building a Hospice in Lakshadweep – brick by brick

Mr Maulana, a school teacher, and his many colleagues are in the process of building a hospice in Lakshadweep, despite the difficulties in finding masons and carpenters. Thanks to their determination and commitment, the Hospice is expected to be ready by the end of March. It will be a proud moment for all of us in Pallium India, when the unit is opened.

Pallium India- USA kickoff event January 25, 2014

image04Saroj Pathak and Dr Jerina Kapoor, writing from Pallium India – USA inform us of the first meeting of the year of the Pallium core group at San Jose, California on Saturday 25th January, 2014.

The meeting celebrated the award of a mini–fellowship by Stanford University on Successful Aging and End of Life Care, a proud achievement for Pallium!

The meeting also developed goals and strategy for 2014 for Pallium India – USA. Pallium India – USA’s mission statement now reads ‘Healthy Aging and a life with Compassionate Care and Dignity for the South Asian community living with serious or advanced illnesses, whether in USA or India’.

Participants had a wonderful opportunity to listen to a motivational talk by Swami Prasannatmanandaji on the subject of ‘Aging and Spirituality’. He shared some inspiring thoughts and there was good dialogue. Swamiji said “Don’t believe that you are serving others, you are privileged that they are giving you the opportunity to serve”

Very inspirational indeed and a good beginning for Pallium India – USA for 2014!

New palliative care centre at Nagercoil

Pallium India is pleased to be able to work with yet another new palliative care centre in Tamilnadu. Mr Senthil Kumar is a volunteer who founded Sreeram Cancer Trust which has now started a regular palliative care program. Pallium India was pleased to attend the inauguration of their new physical facility. Ms Gilly Burn was there to light the lamp – truly dispelling the darkness of pain and suffering!

We are pleased that Ms Sukanya, the capable nurse from the organization is with us now in Trivandrum undergoing our six weeks course. Dr Pratheepan, their palliative care doctor, has already completed the course with us.

Congratulations, Senthil and other friends. It is a privilege to work with you.

Global policy analysis methodology from IPPF

The Pain and Policy Studies Group (PPSG), a WHO Collaborating Centre at Madison-Wisconsin (the chairman of Pallium India is a member of PPSG’s International Experts Committee) developed a criteria-based evaluation methodology to guide a new Global Policy Analysis.

Improving Global Opioid Availability for Pain & Palliative Care: A Guide to a Pilot Evaluation of National Policy was funded by the Livestrong Foundation and is intended to guide and encourage advocates throughout the world to take the next steps to enact policies in their country that enhance access to pain and palliative care, including the use of pain medications, and minimize potential treatment barriers. It ishoped that such steps will lead to improved medication access and, ultimately, patient care. You can see the document here…

Congratulations, all at PPSG.

WHO and WPCA – Global Report on Palliative Care

Less than a week after the WHO passed its landmark resolution on palliative care, it joins WPCA in publishing the global report on palliative care – well, more on the lack of it. Highlights:

  • 9 of 10 of the needy do not get access to palliative care.
  • Only 20 countries have integrated palliative care into their health care systems.

See the report in “The Guardian”…

Award for Pallium India

K.C Vamadevan Foundation bestowed its annual award for social contribution to Pallium India, in a ceremony on 20th January, 2014. We thank K C Vamadevan Foundation for the recognition, encouragement and support.

Sign the Prague charter

Let us urge Governments to act to prevent needless pain and suffering among people with life-limiting diseases. Please sign the The Prague Charter urging governments to recognize access to palliative care as a human right.

To sign the Prague Charter, please click here….

Palliative Medicos Training Program, Again

Pallium India was privileged to associate with MOSC Medical College, Kolencheri, to conduct a two-day palliative care training program for the house surgeons who had just started on their one-year rotating internship. Dr Rajagopal, Dr Nandini and Mr Jayakrishnan spent two days with the 101 house surgeons and with their many mentor-faculty members.

Read the complete article on the program, the feedback and a few interesting questions that were raised.

Certificate courses in Palliative Care

A four weeks’ certificate course in Pain & Palliative Care at MNJ Institute of Oncology, Hyderabad will be held from 03 February till 01 March 2014. Dr. Gillian Fyles, Director, Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration- Canada, is going to be the external faculty for the course. Please contact mnj.palliative@gmail.com

 

Details are available at palliumindia.org/courses

Annual Conference of IAPC this month

We look forward to meeting many of you during the 21st International Conference of Indian Association of Palliative Care at Bhubaneswar, Orissa from 14 to 16 Feb 2014.

Times of India on palliative care efforts in West Bengal

Dr Sankha Suvra Mitra

We are pleased to see the attention that Times of India has given to the work of Dr Sankha Suvra Mitra, and to palliative care.

It is shameful that even after a year and 3 months after simplification of the Narcotic rules of West Bengal, the same is not implemented and people are left in pain due to unacceptable regulatory barriers. We certainly need public and media attention on the matter.

Lancet Oncology writes about opioid situation in India

Lancet Oncology has come out with an article highlighting the serious situation in India regarding lack of opioid access that causes millions to be in needless pain. We thank the author, Dinesh Sharma, for highlighting this problem. You can read the article here.

Thank you Mr Tony Davassy for visiting

Tony Devassy

Mr Tony Devassy is the founder of “Care and Share”, a philanthropic organization based in USA that has been supporting Pallium India and several other charitable organizations in many ways.

Thank you Mr Tony Devassy for visiting us in Trivandrum.

PARTING SHOT

Sunshine Mugrabi

Happy birthday, Sunshine!

Sunshine Mugrabi, Pallium India’s volunteer in the Bay area in California, wants to celebrate her birthday by finding funding for nursing education of a girl in Trivandrum, Kerala, India. The girl’s father is one of Pallium India’s patients, and the girl’s education is the one chance for saving the family.

In less than 2 days, the donations crossed $600. Please see the fundraiser that Sunshine has set up here.

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