Project Hamrahi

Australia Palliative Link International

Hamrahi means fellow-traveler. Well, that is exactly what a group of Australian doctors plan to do – travel with us on the difficult journey that many of our patients have to go through.

Project Hamrahi is a collaborative venture between Pallium India and Australia Palliative Link International (APLI). (Thank you Dr Nirmala of Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences, for finding such an appropriate name for the project!)

Dr Odette Spruyt

The concept took birth at Perth, during the joint conference of the Asia Pacific Hospice Network (APHN) and Palliative Care Australia (PCA). Dr Odette Spruyt (a friend of Indian Palliative Care) from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne had given a talk based on her Indian experience, and several Australian doctors came forward to help.

Discussions between Dr Odette Spruyt and Pallium India gave clarity to the idea. Project Hamrahi is designed to fill a certain need. As it stands now, doctors and nurses get trained in palliative care for six weeks. Once they go back to their home towns, they are on their own to fight a thousand barriers, with negligible support.

Project Hamrahi envisages continued mentoring by one expert – hopefully matching one expert with one palliative care program on a long term basis.

In preparation for the project, a preliminary workshop was held in Melbourne. Following this, Dr Odette Spruyt became the first mentor to visit India under this programme. She spent a week starting from July 26th, 2010 at the prestigious Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Patna, Bihar, where a joint Pallium India-IGIMS palliative care project (Pallcare Project), took off in 2009.

Recent blog entries regarding Project Hamrahi: