January 2013 Newsletter

2013 January 31
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Dear Friends,

Pallium India hosts National Palliative Care Strategy workshop

Pallium India had the privilege of hosting a two day national workshop at Trivandrum organized in collaboration with WHO (India) and Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on the 11th and 12th of January 2013. Pallium India’s trustee, Dr Shalini Vallabhan acted as workshop coordinator. This was a follow-up action on the national strategy for palliative care developed by Government of India in November 2013, thanks to the efforts of a lot of people, particularly Shri Desiraju, Dr Sudhir Gupta and Dr Vallath Nandini.

Palliative care experts from all over the country sat together in Trivandrum with the officials, Dr Francois Decaillet and Dr Artreyi Ganguli of WHO (India), Dr Sudhir Gupta (Deputy Director-General of Health Services, Government of India), Mr Rajesh Nandan Srivastava (Director of Narcotics, Government of India, Dr K. Mohandas, Governor, Medical Council of India, Ms Surekha Saha, Governor, Indian Nursing Council and others. We were indeed pleased when Mr Rajiv Sandandan, Kerala’s dynamic Health Secretary dropped in.

The work on the draft plan for implementation is continuing, and the final document is due on 31 March 2013.

Pallium India thanks all the participants, and particularly WHO (India) for funding the workshop and both WHO (India) and Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation for funding the follow up action.

New trustees for Pallium India

All the trustees of Pallium India met together for a day on the 13th of January 2013 for an annual meeting. (Thank you everyone, for coming). Two new trustees were elected. Please join us in welcoming them. They are:

Dr C MohananDr C Mohanan

An Anaesthesiologist by training and till recently a member of the teaching faculty at a Medical College, he was volunteering as Senior Administrator of Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences since its inception. He has been associated with Pallium India activities since 2006.

Mr Binod HariharanMr Binod Hariharan

Binod Hariharan is an engineering graduate and has over 18 years of experience in different capacities in the IT industry. He is currently the Chairman of the board of two companies; Astro-Vision Futuretech Pvt. Ltd. and Malayogam Pvt. Ltd. He has been involved with the activities of Pallium India since its inception and has been working more closely over the last one year, providing consultancy on professionalizing the management of the organisation.

Another award to Pallium India – this time from “Abundant Life India”

“Abundant Life-India”‘s annual “Abundance Award” was given to Pallium India. It was handed over on the Republic Day of India, the 26th of January.

Well, receiving the award, with a beautiful plaque and a cash prize was a morale-booster in itself, and the event also gave Pallium India the bonus of meeting up with many great philanthropists.

Thank you, Col. C.H. D’Souza (President), Mr M.G.James (Secretary), Dr Koshy.M.George and all at Abundant Life India for the honor and privilege.

Come again, Iowa team!

It was pure pleasure to have with us a group of students from University of Iowa again for a three weeks’ cultural immersion program. We learnt together and had fun together. It was amazing how the world tends to get smaller as people from different cultures get together. In addition to joining the host team on home visits and hospitals, the visitors had class room sessions with Pallium India faculty and with Professor Jo Eland.

Here is a parting note from Ms Mckenzie Dziedzic, one of the 18 students from Iowa: “The entire experience has opened my eyes to another culture and my life has been changed by all of the wonderful and kind people here. You have truly given me inspiration to take home through your example and guidance”.

Well Mckenzie and friends, we at Pallium India learnt from you people too. Thank you for putting up with all the inconveniences – the power breakdowns, the traffic, the pollution and the hot home visit vans. And thank you, Professor Rajagopal Rangaswamy for pioneering this initiative and thank you, Professor Jo Eland, for being a mother to the students and also to Pallium India.

India’s “cancer train”

Please see the interesting article on cancer-related suffering in India. Let us hope that India’s new program for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the current five year plan will make a difference!

Read here: Passengers on India’s ‘cancer train’ share stories of pain and hope

Palliative Care and the World Health Assembly

On 30 May 2012, we had reported to you Pallium India’s involvement with several other organizations to move the World Health Assembly (WHA) to include palliative care in its agenda. I am glad to report progress.

Mr Diederik Lohman of Human Rights Watch reports that at the Executive Board meeting of the World Health Assembly on 21 January 2012, Panama proposed that palliative care be scheduled for the agenda of WHA next year. Ecuador and the United States spoke out in support after which the Executive Board accepted the proposal.

The WHA is the decision-making body of the WHA and hence this is a major step forward in our mission to reduce disease-related suffering in the World. Congratulations, everyone.

IAHPC traveling scholarships for the 13th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC Onlus)

The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) announces 12 scholarships to support the travel of palliative care workers to attend the 13th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC Onlus).

The applicants must be:

  1. Living in Lower, Lower-Middle and Upper- Middle income categories as per the World Bank income classification data
  2. Being active members of IAHPC
  3. Working actively in palliative care
  4. Registered as web users at the EAPC database online (free of charge) at www.eapcnet.eu
  5. Preference will be given to individuals who have not received an IAHPC or OSF grant in the past three years, with accepted poster or oral presentations in the Congress.

EAPC will give discounted registration fees to individuals from countries in the Lower and Lower-Middle categories. Winners of the scholarships will benefit from this discount. Additional information about the congress is available in the congress website at http://www.eapc-2013.org/

Applications from physicians, nurses, psychologists and other disciplines are welcome. If you wish to apply and are not an IAHPC member, you may join by clicking http://hospicecare.com/join-iahpc/

  • More detailed information about the application process and the online form are available at the IAHPC website
  • Applicants need to send a copy of your current CV to lrozo@iahpc.com
  • Applicants who submitted abstracts and whose posters are accepted, also need to send to IAHPC the confirmation of the acceptance after they receive it from EAPC.
  • Deadline to apply is February 15, 2013. Results will be announced by early March.

“Morphine Kills Pain but its Price Kills Patients” – Article on state of palliative care in Zimbabwe

Ms Karina Schoultz brings to our attention this article with the words, It’s a sobering one that reminds me of the enormity of the problem around the world. We have our work cut out for us, for sure.”

Read here: “Morphine Kills Pain but its Price Kills Patients”

NYT: You Are Going To Die

“My own father died at home, in what was once my childhood bedroom. He was, in this respect at least, a lucky man.”

When we put the old and the sick out of sight, we enable a baseless fantasy of eternal health and youth. What is it doing to the us? Read here: You Are Going to Die

Thank you, Ms Sunshine Mugrabi, for bringing very many interesting articles to our attention.

TEDTalk: Before I die, I want to…

“Death is something we’re often discouraged to talk about or even think about: Don’t go there. It’s too sad. You don’t need to think about it until you’re older. However, regularly contemplating death—as Stoicism and other philosophies encourage—is a powerful and healthy tool to put daily stresses in their place, re-appreciate the present, and remember what matters most to you.”

Artist Candy Chang created a space where people could share their thoughts on what they hoped to do before dying, watch her TEDTalk here…

Cancer’s New Battleground — the Developing World

Great series on Cancer in the Developing World on PRI’s “The World”.

In this radio and online series, we meet patients, doctors, and public health advocates on the front lines. What political, cultural, and logistical obstacles make tackling cancer so difficult across most of the globe?

  • Part I: Cancer’s Lonely Soldier
    Dr. Jackson Orem heads the Uganda Cancer Institute. Until recently, he was the only oncologist in a country of more than 30 million people. He argues that cancer deserves the same attention given to other afflictions in the developing world, such as AIDS and malaria.
  • Part II: Pink Ribbons to Haiti
    Haitian women know little about breast cancer, and those who contract it rarely receive treatment. An American charity and its local partners are trying to change that. But it’s not easy providing cancer care in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.
  • Part III: An Ounce of Prevention
    Cervical cancer is far more common – and more deadly – in the developing world than in the United States. One reason: women in the US receive routine screening that catches the disease in its earliest stages. A low-cost test being rolled out in India could save tens of thousands of lives there each year.
  • Part IV: The Infectious Connection
    Cancer can be triggered by infectious diseases, especially in impoverished parts of the world. Scientists in the US and Africa are working to unravel how viruses and bacteria cause malignancies. By breaking that cycle, they hope to prevent tumors from forming in the first place.
  • Part V: Dispensing Comfort
    Modern cancer care involves more than the latest surgical techniques and chemotherapy drugs; it also offers freedom from pain. Yet basic palliative care, in the form of morphine, is almost nonexistent for many patients in developing countries. What is being done to bring them pain relief?

Listen to all parts online here…

REMINDER: IAPC Conference at Bangalore

Please do not forget!

The 20th International Conference of Indian Association of Palliative Care is being held from 8th to 10th of February 2013 at Bangalore. Dr Linge Gowda, the organizing secretary invites you to participate and to make the conference a Grand Success.

Please note: There are two pre-conference workshops

  • Nursing workshop on 07 Feb 2013
  • Pediatric palliative care workshop 07 Feb 2013

For more details log on to www.iapccon2013.in


We hope you had a good Christmas – time with family and friends, a good feast, a lot of laughterand fun
May we suggest that the celebration would not really be complete till you have shared something for the people who have not been lucky to have such colorful Christmas?

Every little bit helps.

  • $ 5 will pay for Medicines for a week
  • $ 20 = Medicines for a month
  • $ 80 = Schooling support for one child/year
  • $ 500 = Vocational rehabilitation for a family

Visit palliumindia.org/donate

Don’t forget to sign the Morphine Manifesto!

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