It was a privilege for Pallium India to be one of 8 invited participants at a workshop organised in the Vatican by the Pontifical Academy for Life on 30 March, 01 April, 2017. The Catholic Church’s interest in palliative care is truly gratifying and holds great promise for the future because its healthcare institutions account for 26% of all in the world. If they all incorporate palliative care into healthcare, it could remove a huge burden of pain and suffering particularly in low and low-middle income countries.
The participants had a special treat – we stayed in Domus Sanctae Marthae where Pope Francis stays and ate in the same dining room. Just being able to see him twice a day was a treat considering what an amazing human being he is, having discarded all luxuries that could be associated with the head of one of the most powerful states of the world, and chose to live with common people like us.
And it was truly a privilege to listen to Archbishop Vincenzo Paglio who chaired the workshop. Here are a few pearls from his talk:
- “A person should never be deprived of his/her dignity – even when one may be tempted to suspect that the person is unworthy.”
- “In this world of palliative care, no one is abandoned.”
- “Beware of the dictatorship of “I” – the ego.”
- “Palliere” should not be used like a lid to hide suffering and to walk away.”
- “Ignorance is cruel in this matter. Cultural illiteracy is not acceptable. We have to overcome the guilty silence.”
The experience from the last many years made us reasonably sure that the plea would not go unheeded; that we would get one.
We were wrong. We got three!
- Liliana De Lima, executive director of IAHPC sent a Microsoft Tablet PC all the way from USA through our well-wisher, Dr Chitra.
- Sarah Chandy sent an Apple Laptop through our volunteer, Smriti Rana.
- Aparna Kurian sent an Apple Laptop through our volunteer, Annu Kurien.
They are all in good use now. See the tablet busy in our ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcome) education program.
At an elegant and simple function at Bank of India premises in Trivandrum on 15 March 2017, Kul Bhushan Jain (G.M NBG, South), A B Vijaykumar (Kerala Zonal Manager NBG, South), Anil Kumar Jha (Kerala Deputy Zonal Manager NBG, South) handed over to Pallium India a brand new vehicle for our home visit programme.
Thank you, dear friends at Bank of India, for your support and for conveying that we all have a responsibility towards our suffering fellow human beings.
Sunshine Mugrabi is a dear, longtime friend of Pallium India. A few years ago, she visited us at Trivandrum as a volunteer and accompanied our home visit teams. In one of those visits, she met a man with a huge tumor on his neck. As the doctor and he conversed, Sunshine was struck by his lack of interest in hearing about his medication.
“I found myself getting frustrated with the man. He didn’t want to hear anything about medicine or anything else the doctor had to say. All he wanted to know was when he would be allowed to eat seeds again.” The doctor explained that he would never be able to eat his favourite food, because it can’t get past the tumor.
Everything came full circle when, a few years after her visit to India, Sunshine had an accident. She could not move her arms or legs, and was in excruciating pain. The doctors had no idea what was wrong with her. She was debilitated and dependent on her husband.
Sunshine describes her biggest problem at the time – she wanted to be able to eat more interesting food. “I wasn’t acting the way someone in a terrible situation should act. I was thinking of my stomach rather than the kinds of things dying people were supposed to think about.”
Sunshine recovered, in her words, “miraculously”. But that experience was an eye-opener for her. And now she shares that experience with us. Please read her blog Tiny Things.
- Review and interpret prescription orders and verify accuracy and completeness of patient labeling and input into pharmacy computer.
- Evaluate and resolve real or potential prescription related problems
- Review inpatient orders and screen them for possible duplication, interactions
- Follow and understand all pharmacy policies and relevant hospital policies
- Order inventory and do periodic inventory check
- Check for expired medications and report to superior officers
- Establish a pharmaceutical care practice in conjunction with physicians and other care providers
- Provide adequate information/ orientation/ support to the doctors/ nurses/ social workers who undergo training.
- Capability in training other professionals
- Assess the appropriateness of medication orders and ensure the timely provision of effective medications for symptom control.
- Participate as a member of a multidisciplinary team and work effectively as a team member.
- Maintain good communication with the entire team members.
- Ensure that patients and caregivers understand and follow the directions provided with medications.
- Establish and maintain effective communication with regulatory and licensing agencies.
- Ensure safe and legal disposal of all expired medications or not to use medicines.
- Maintain proper documentation for all inward and outward medicines as well as scrapping of medicines.
- Maintain high quality in updating the inventories and dispatching of medicines on time.
For more vacancies, visit our Careers page.