At this moment, over a million people in India are in unimaginable pain. We refuse to look the other way. We choose to hear the cry, and to do what we can.
Please join us. Your help is needed.

Meet a young donor: Gabriel Hebb

2017 November 25

Dr Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, writes:

This is Gabriel Hebb from Woodend, near Melbourne. His chicken farm has eleven hens.

He collects their eggs and does a biweekly round in the neighbourhood, selling them. He is quite an impressive salesman.

We were in his home when two guests dropped in. He said hello to them and asked “Don’t you need eggs?” A few minutes later, the visitors walked away with their purchase.

Gabriel is not only a salesman but also a liberal donor. He generously and spontaneously donated his earnings to Pallium India.

Thank you, Gab!

Advancing palliative care in Bhutan:

2017 November 25

Thanks to Ms Phuntsho Om and Ms Tara Devi, who took the initiative to find us and to come to us for a six weeks course in Trivandrum in 2016, palliative care is growing roots in Bhutan. Not only did they start a palliative care service after their return to Thimphu; they got the support of the administration leading to training of several more professionals.

Thank you, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), for organising a three-day workshop on palliative care on 15-17 November 2017 and for the opportunity given to Pallium India to be part of it. Congratulations Vanessa Eaton and Vanessa Sarchet for the excellent organization, and Anna Antonowich, Dr Habib Ghaddar, Dr Cynthia Goh and Dr Pendharkar and others who joined the faculty to provide an academic feast.

Last but not least, let us express our admiration for the exceptional audience. The organisers had hoped for about 60 participants; but more than 85 turned up. The enthusiasm was palpable and the whole program, very interactive.

Dear friends in Bhutan, we look forward to working with you to make sure that palliative care service reaches all who need it.

The medico-political climate of near total mistrust:

2017 November 24

Lack of trust in in the medical system seems to be the order of the day. See the “Medical dialogues” dated Nov 24 (click on the image to enlarge). Are you surprised? We are not.

There is a huge dichotomy between “the internal view” (as Amartya Sen calls it) of the healthcare system and the external view of the man on the street about what the purpose of healthcare is. Is it to consider health as a commodity, generating as much profit out of healthcare as possible, concentrating on prolongation of the heart-beat and not caring about the suffering associated with health issues? Surprisingly, many health professionals and many laymen believe so. The man on the street is totally confused and suspicious.

And everyone looks for easy solutions.

It is time we choose to look at the problem in all its complexity, identify solutions even if difficult and to address them. The solutions include:

  • A discussion involving medical ethicists, health care managers, and social activists about the duty of the medical profession being not only to cure diseases but also to treat serious health-related suffering (SHS).
  • A clear enunciation by statutory bodies like Medical Council of India and Indian Council of Medical Research that the duty of the medical profession is not only to cure; but rather, as the 14th century aphorism taught us, “to cure sometimes, relieve often and comfort always”.
  • Rational re-drafting and enactment of the end of life care law that has been pending with the Government of India since mid-2016.
  • Inclusion of palliative care as an essential part of health care and education as envisaged in the new health care policy of India and in the world health assembly resolution of 2104.

True; it will take time and effort, but if we do not start the process now, the current abysmal situation can deteriorate even further.

Thank you, Sharing Care, Ireland

2017 November 22

Our heartfelt gratitude to Sharing Care, a non-governmental, not for profit, charitable organisation based in Ireland, for their support to Pallium India’s educational program. Sharing Care has made a significant donation to support the education of 50 students whose family members receive palliative care.

Sharing Care envisions a world where all have access to good quality education and health care system; a world where all enjoy a decent standard of living. Sharing Care is dedicated to support people living in extreme poverty to achieve major improvements in their lives.

Pema Tshering: the triumph of the human spirit

2017 November 21

Meet Pema Shering in Thimphu, Bhutan. He is an artist and paints with his feet. His creations adorn palaces and art galleries.

See http://www.simplybhutan.bt/tshering.php to read about his carvings and this triumph of the human spirit!