Some time ago, we had reported to you about Project Hamrahi, a mentoring program in which an Australian mentor is to be matched to a budding palliative care center in India with a view to long term relationships and continued support.
Very appropriately, the first ever mentor under the program to visit India has been our long-term friend, Dr Odette Spruyt, Head of Pain and Palliative Care Department, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia.
As we write this, Dr Spruyt is in Patna, at the prestigious Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), where a joint Pallium India-IGIMS palliative care project took off in 2009.
While addressing a lecture at a Continuing Medical Education (CME) programme on “Pain and Palliative Care”, jointly organised by the Dept. of Anaesthesiology and Regional Cancer Centre (RCC), IGIMS, on 31-07-2010, she stressed how imperative it was to provide emotional support to the terminally ill patients of cancer and other fatal diseases, and their family members, in addition to pain management, so that the quality of life of the last days of such patients could improve.
Dr Spruyt has been working with the palliative care team at IGIMS from July 26 for a week. Addressing doctors, nurses, para-medical, staffs and representatives of NGOs, she emphasized the importance of management of cancer patients which also includes all aspects of communication with the patients and the significant role of family members, society and NGOs in alleviating the patient’s suffering. She also threw light on how to deal with the family members after the death of their relatives.
Dr Arun Kumar,Director, IGIMS; Dr R R Prasad, Head, RCC ;Dr Sukumar Jha, HoD, General Surgery, IGIMS,and anaesthesiologists Dr Ajit Gupta and Dr K H Raghvendra also addressed the CME.