August 2014 Newsletter

2014 August 31
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Friends,

Ask Us. Our new information centre shall wait for your message.

Info Centre InaugurationPallium India’s Information Centre was formally inaugurated by Hon. Health Minister of Kerala, Shri V. S. Sivakumar at 9.30 AM on 29 Aug, 2014, at Pallium India premises in Trivandrum. The Information Centre had been on a trial run for the last few weeks.

This information centre will:

  • Provide information to patients and families about available palliative care facilities in the country.
  • Provide advice on management (though prescriptions will not be given through the information centre; we can provide advice based on existing prescriptions).
  • Provide advice on psycho-socio-spiritual issues.
  • Provide advice to palliative care professionals and volunteers on management of patients and families (we have an expert group of consultants whom we can turn to when we do not have answers ourselves).
  • Provide palliative care education to other palliative care centres through electronic media.

Inaugurating the centre, the Honorable Minister said that though Kerala has made tremendous advances in the field of palliative care, the coverage and quality of care can improve only if the Government system works hand in hand with non-government organizations like Pallium India. He also offered all possible support to Pallium India’s activities in future.

For contacting the Information centre, please write to: info@palliumindia.org or call +91 9746745497 (from 9AM to 12 noon).

More details here…

Want to come and work with us in India, Doctor?

alex macyWould you like to spend a year working as a palliative care physician in India and find new meaning to your life? When palliative care professionals from abroad have come and worked with us, their service was precious to us. (We particularly remember with gratitude nurse Raelee Jensen from NZ, Dr Tom Middlemiss from the UK and Dr Wendy Pattemore from NZ who stayed the longest.)

We are looking for doctors who can stay with us for about one year – or at least six months.

What can we offer you? Not a salary, but living expenses – something like what we pay to an Indian doctor as a salary, accommodation and food in our guest house, an opportunity to teach and to shape professionals who want to make a difference, and a huge amount of satisfaction from your work.

Remember, in your own place, if you are not there, somebody else will do your work. Here, there will be nobody. The difference that you make to other human lives in a year with us, we are sure, would be more than what you may from medical practice in the rest of your life put together.

Interested? Write to us at info@palliumindia.org.

We are also hiring Indian doctors.

We are also looking for Indian doctors (MBBS), who have a passion to learn  and a heart to serve, to join our palliative care team at Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS) at Trivandrum.

Interested doctors please write to aneeja@palliumindia.org  or call 9746745501.

For more openings, visit our Careers page.

New Vacancies in Jodhpur

Doctors, Nurses and Data entry operators wanted at Sampurnananda Medical College Mahatma Gandhi Hospital, Jodhpur

  1. Doctor-1
  • Qualifications: MBBS/MD/MS; RMC registered.
  • Age: not more than 65 years.
  • Salary: INR 40,000/ pm (minus TDS).
  1. Nurse- 2
  • Qualifications: B.Sc. Nursing (NCI recognized college); GNM; RNC registered.
  • Age: not more than 40 years.
  • Salary: INR 12,000 pm (minus TDS).
  1. Data Manager cum Counsellor- 2
  • Qualifications: Training in computer applications. BCA/RSCIT/‘O’ level (or higher) can also apply.
  • Candidates with MSW/ Clinical Psychologists will be preferred; experience of working in a hospital data management environment preferable.
  • Age: not more than 40 years.
  • Salary: INR 12,000/ pm (minus TDS).

For more details please contact

Dr. Girdhar Singh Bhati- +91 9829026609

Dr. Rohitash Dana- +91 9414129654

Upcoming courses on palliative care in Trivandrum and Hyderabad

Trivandrum, Kerala

The next six weeks course for doctors and nurses will start on November 3, 2014. For more details on this course, please visit: http://palliumindia.org/courses/ccppm/

Contact: info@palliumindia.org, (+91)9746746530

Hyderabad, AP

At our associate centre in MNJ Institute of Oncology in Hyderabad, the next four weeks course will begin on 3 November. For more details on this course, visit: http://palliumindia.org/courses/hyd_ccppm/

Contact: Ms. Vineela Rapelli – Program Coordinator, mnj.palliative@gmail.com, (+91)91772 38901

Details on all these courses (and future courses) are available at http://palliumindia.org/courses/

For more information about any of our courses, please write to us: info@palliumindia.org or call us: (+91)471-2451366.

Workshop for Volunteers on End of Life Care

Mr Vijayan, a palliative care activist in Kannur, gave us a suggestion.

Rather obviously, very often the medical professionals are not available to provide End of Life care in the home setting. The local volunteers are available for support and therefore, volunteers have to learn and gain basic expertise in end of life issues. A few training programs here and there can only achieve so much. If we can develop a corps of trainers, we could eventually reach out to a large number of volunteers and families with whatever advice and help that they can offer.

Pallium India gratefully welcomed the suggestion. On 19, 20 and 21 September 2014, with support from Mr Vijayan and colleagues, Rajeswari foundation and Pallium India will together host a three-day training program in Trivandrum. Volunteers, who have an interest in End of Life care are welcome. To facilitate adequate interaction, participation at this workshop will be limited to 30. Part of the workshop will be set apart for acquiring some teaching skills. Participants will understand that the aim of the teacher is really to facilitate learning, not just to deliver lectures. They will learn what not to do, and will acquire some skills in this regard.

A greater part of the time will be devoted to learning the basics of End of Life care.

We are not sure that every participant can really be a skilled trainer at the conclusion of the program; but we are sure that they will all try hard; the enthusiasm is so very palpable. And if necessary, we will follow up with more advanced training programs, later. Those of our readers in Kerala who are interested in participating, please write to info@palliumindia.org or call us on +9746745497 during working hours.

All of us at Pallium India in Trivandrum are eagerly looking forward to this event; we are absolutely sure that we shall end up learning a lot from the participants.

Morphine donation from Rusan Pharma

Rusan Pharma Ltd., Mumbai, informs that they wish to donate Morphine 30mg (immediate release) tablets to NGOs for needy patients. There are 15,000 strips of 10 tablets each (with expiry date Nov ’14). Needless to say, the recipient institution must have all the required licenses.

For more details, write to: priti@rhcpl.com or call: +919930465175.

Please spread the word so that it reaches those who need it for pain relief, as soon as possible. Thank you!

Pallium India’s Sangeetha Sandhya 2014

M JayachandranPallium India is organizing a musical event ‘Sangeetha Sandhya 2014’ in Trivandrum on World Palliative Care Day, 11 October 2014.

Renowned music director and singer, Sri M. Jayachandran and his team of artistes are conducting this event to support Pallium India in its efforts to help the millions of patients and families who are in need of pain relief and palliative care.

Palliative Care Day is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world and is observed on the second Saturday of October every year, all over the world. The theme for this year’s World Palliative Care Day is ‘Achieving universal coverage of palliative care: Who cares? We do!’

We invite you all to be a part of this event.

Date: 11 Oct, 2014
Venue: Al-Saj Convention Centre, Kazhakoottam, Thiruvananthapuram
Time : 6.00pm to 9.00pm

Health fair on Healthy Ageing and End-of-life care issues in Milpitas, CA.

Dr Jerina Kapoor, the founder-president of Pallium India-USA informs that with India Community Center, they are having a health fair on Healthy Aging and End-of-life care issues on Sunday 14 September 2 PM to 5 PM at the India Community Center at Milpitas, California.

Fifteen healthcare organizations are participating in the fair, featuring topics like how to have a healthy happy heart, values/choices in healthy aging and planning for life’s challenges, as well as interactive discussions with experts on health care directives. If you are in the northern California, we hope you can attend.

Venue: India Community Center at Milpitas, California

Date & Time: Sunday, 14 September 2 PM to 5 PM

Click here to read more details…

Pallium India meets up with the Lord Mayor of Belfast

Pallium India meets up with the Lord Mayor of BelfastWith our friend and colleague Dr Max Watson, Pallium India’s consultant Dr Nandini Vallath had an audience with the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nichola Mallon.

Dr Nandini Vallath reports:

“We spoke on the need for palliative care in India, the regulatory blocks that had existed for opioid availability, the work towards amending the law, the role of Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS) at the national level in terms of policy, medication availability and training.
We also spoke about Dr Max Watson’s role in the Essential certificate Course that is reaching out to thousands of professionals in India and his involvement with the integration of palliative care concepts into the undergraduate medical and nursing curricula”.

Dr Nandini has invited the Mayor of Belfast to visit TIPS.

Thank you Dr Cynthia Goh and Mr Weng Wai

image08Professor Cynthia Goh, chairman, and Mr Weng Wai, Executive Officer of Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) visited Pallium India on the 25th and 26th of August 2014.

They joined palliative care teams on home visits, inpatient rounds and on outpatient clinics and had detailed discussions about palliative care delivery in India and about future collaboration.

Dr Cynthia also gave talks to the Indian Medical Association and to Oncology residents in the Regional Cancer Centre and had interaction with media.

Thank you for the visit, Cynthia and Weng Wai.

You have saved three families. Thank you Freemasons!

Dr Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, receiving the donation from the Master, Mr Santhi Kumar.

Members of the Freemasons club of Trivandrum found the money to support the nursing education of three children from the families of our patients. They would have discontinued their studies but for this help, because, as often happens, once disease strikes, the education of the children falls by the wayside.

On August 15, 2014, on the 68th Independence day of India, the Chairman of Pallium India received the donation of Rs 1 lakh from Freemasons’ club of Trivandrum for this noble mission. Thank you, Freemasons, and particularly, Mr Ashok Nair for initiating this activity.

This is not the first time that the Freemasons is supporting us. Every day, one of our several home visit teams travels through the suburbs of Trivandrum, serving bed-bound patients on a vehicle that the Freemasons’ Club donated a few years back.

Right: Dr Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, receiving the donation from the Master, Mr Santhi Kumar.

(Pallium India currently supports the education of about 300 children, all from families ravaged by disease. This is a very worthwhile activity for which we simply do not have enough funds. Anyone who can help or wishes to know more, please write to info@palliumindia.org or just go to the “donate” button on palliumindia.org)

Paediatric postgraduate curriculum to include palliative care

Paediatric postgraduate curriculumehospice India reports on the brilliant success achieved by Dr Mary Ann Muckaden of Tata Memorial Hospital and Dr Pradnya Talawadekar of IAPC.

A notification by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences announced that “The faculty unanimously resolved to include paediatric palliative care curriculum of three hours duration in post graduate course of M.D. Paediatrics.”

Congratulations, Dr Muckaden, Dr Talawadekar and teams on this remarkable achievement of making children’s care health care more humane.

IAPC consensus statement on end of life care

Dr Naveen Salins writes from Mumbai:

“I am happy to inform that Indian Association of Palliative Care has published Consensus Position Statement on End of Life Care Policy for the dying. We would like to thank everyone for their valuable inputs and suggestions. IAPC’s continued effort will be to persuade and influence the Government of India and the Supreme Court to formulate unambiguous legislations related to end of life care. With this regard, we are following the lead taken by Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine and are planning to come up with the joint consensus position statement/procedural guidelines of both the societies.”

Attached with this mail is the consensus position statement – End of Life Care IAPC Position Statement

A little for everybody? Quality or Coverage?

India is not an affluent country. Can we afford to talk about quality of care? Or should we just give whatever we can to as many as we can? This is a dilemma that palliative care activists face. Clearly, there is an injustice in giving first class care to a few and depriving the masses of care. On the other hand, if it is spread too thin, no one may benefit.

Or worse, there is the real danger that without attention to quality, care can indeed be harmful, like an untrained person causing cross infection between our immune-suppressed patients or someone without counselling skills attempting counselling and emotionally destroying a vulnerable person.

Pallium India strongly believes that we need to have a balance between coverage and quality. We recommend that we need to decide on some minimum standards of care. We vow that we shall refuse to go below that standard and then attempt to reach as many as we can.

With this aim in view, Pallium India got 13 experts from various parts of the country together to work on creation of a minimum standards document. They created a standards tool which was used for evaluation by a large number of palliative care organizations in the country. The results, published in the Indian Journal of Palliative Care, are now available for your perusal.

God lives in the hearts of these people

Dr Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, writes:

I went on a pilgrimage over the weekend of 9 and 10 August, 2014, and visited three temples of compassion, care and love in Northern Kerala. The first was to Anthikkad in Thrissur district, where palliative care is in the heart of the people led by Mr Sreemurugan. The next was in the city of Kannur, where the district consortium of palliative care organizations by name PIK, with the initiative of Mr Vijayan and Mr Sudhas, organized the meeting, and the third in the village by name Orkattiri near Vadakara under the leadership of Mr Kunhikannan. The event was an awareness program for volunteers on end of life care. In each place, I spoke for about 45 minutes to one hour and then followed discussion. I could handle only about one-third of the questions that were written down and handed over. I promised to respond to the rest in our monthly publication, Sahayatra.

What thirst for knowledge! These are volunteers who are already involved in caring for patients in their homes and one common feeling that they shared was that they feel inadequate in supporting the dying people and their families. We parted with the agreement to learn more on the subject together.

Truly, God lives in the hearts of these people.

Proud to be your friends, Gilly

Proud to be your friends, GillyIt is never too late. Our friend Ms Gilly Burn has become a student again! And doing well.

Ms Gilly Burn who preached and pioneered palliative care in India from the 1980s has supported several palliative care services in India with evangelical fervor.

At an age when many people would be thinking of retiring, Gilly Burn has registered herself for a masters’ program. And she is doing very well, as you can see from this certificate.

All of us in Pallium India are proud to be your friends,Gilly.

Would someone like to work with Mr Phadke to develop a palliative care service in Mumbai?

Read this appeal from Mr D. N. Phadke, a library information professional from New Panvel, who is keen on improving palliative care access in Mumbai. Pallium India would add an appeal: please do not restrict this to any particular disease. There is so little palliative care for non-cancer patients in Mumbai.

Mr PhadkeMr Phadke writes: “Palliative Care, in my view, is a neglected area in our country, except in Kerala. It pains me to know that a large number of patients end their life in unbearable suffering. I have a deep interest in improving palliative care access in my locality, the Thane-Kalyan-Dombivli-Badlapur area of Maharashtra.

The task is huge and the efforts of a single person would be too little. If like-minded people including doctors, nurses, volunteers and social workers plus hospitals, funding agencies and individuals join together, we can work towards establishing a good palliative care service in and around Mumbai

I would like to appeal to all those interested in working for the cause of palliative care to kindly respond to me, so that we can organise the task in a better manner.”

D. N. Phadke
D. N. Phadke is a library information professional with expertise in promoting library information technology (LIT) in India through his books, presentations and his association as a course coordinator for P.G. Diploma in library information technology at Pillai Institute of Information technology at New Panvel/Mumbai. He retired from IIT Bombay in 2011, at 62, and further continued to work as a Consultant Librarian at PIIT, New Panvel.

Contact details:
Dattatray Narayan Phadke,
(Retired Dy. Librarian, IIT Bombay)
301, Shree Manisha CHS,
V.P. Road, Pendse Nagar, Lane 3-4,
Nr. Andhra Bank, Dombivli (East) 421201, MH, India
Mob: +919869786186
Email: dnphadke@gmail.com

PARTING SHOT

Happy Onam

image04Onam is the annual harvest festival of Kerala, a South Indian state in which Pallium India has its headquarters. It commemorates the reign of King Mahabali, who is said to have ruled Kerala a long time back, and that, apparently was the most golden time in Kerala. According to legend, when he was eventually defeated and exiled, he asked for permission to visit Kerala once a year. This visit during the harvest season forms the most celebrated festival of Kerala – Onam – a time of flowers, new clothes, food  and play. During this time of plenty for many, let us share the happiness and joy with a few people who are not so fortunate as others.

The Rotary Club at Karunagappally in Kerala show us an example to follow. Early during the festive season, on 30 August 2014, the Rotarians and members of the Inner Wheel club of Karunagappally along with the local palliative care unit supported by Dr Kurup, Dr Radhabai, Dr Nizar, Mr Mohanan Pillai and others, arranged an Onam feast for hundreds of families affected by disease. Not only were they given a feast, but more than 200 families received new clothes and provisions enough to see them through the festival season. Members of the palliative care team at Karunagappally, this was a great example for others to emulate. We salute you.

Happy Onam to all.

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