Published on: November 30, 2015

Dear Friends,

We love children, but are we kind to them?

IMG_1436Leaders from several religions, patients and families, palliative care experts and human rights activists came together at Vatican City on 10 November 2015 to create a charter for children’s palliative care. Three representatives from India were part of the 35-member workshop, including Dr Mary Ann Muckaden, Chairman of International Children’s Palliative Care Network, Dr Kshama Metre from Chinmaya Foundation, and Dr M. R. Rajagopal of Pallium India.

The charter highlighted pain relief and palliative care as an essential right of more than 21 million children in the world. The charter can be downloaded and read from the Maruzza Foundation website.

The Pontifical Academy for Life at Vatican and the Maruzza Foundation had collaborated to make this workshop possible. When the Pope granted an audience to the public on the following day, he blessed the children and families.

It is worthy of note that the Pope had called upon professionals and students to learn palliative care and to practise it, on 05 March 2015, in his address on Vatican radio. He also said that palliative care “has no less value on account of the fact that it does not save lives. Palliative care recognises something equally important: recognising the value of the person.”

All religions have networks of hospitals all over India. If only they would all heed the papal voice, what a huge burden of suffering would disappear from our country!

No pain relief for 75% of the world’s suffering

Based on the Vatican charter, our chairman Dr M. R. Rajagopal wrote an article titled “Palliative care for children” (translated version) which appeared on 24th November 2015 in Malayala Manorama, the newspaper with the largest circulation in India. (Click here to read the original in Malayalam).

It is very gratifying that just three days later, the same newspaper came out with an announcement from the Changanacherry Archdiocese of the Catholic Church in Kerala on the opening of “seven doors of compassion” in the state, including one in Trivandrum. Let us hope that this would be the beginning of national initiatives by hospital chains run by religious organizations all over the country.

INCB calls for access to essential medicines

“Access to essential medicines is tantamount to the human right for health. We must strive to ensure that those individuals who are suffering and require medication are afforded the opportunity to avail themselves of essential drugs”, said Werner Sipp, president of International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) on 11 November 2015, at the 114th session of the INCB.

Traditionally, INCB has been gravely concerned about the danger of abuse and illicit use of controlled medicines. However,they have been consistently pointing out to some Governments including India that failure to provide pain relief was a matter of great concern.

Sharjah Declaration calls for improved NCD control, including palliative care.

The International Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) Alliance, on the 15th of November at Sharjah, expresses the commitment of NCD civil society organizations to join forces and work together, to accelerate action in advocating for change, to increase accountability by monitoring progress, and calls on governments and policy makers to take several steps to improve NCD prevention and control, including palliative care.

Pallium India is privileged to have played a part in the process. The Sharjah Declaration concludes with the statement, No one sector alone will reverse the NCD epidemic, but working together we have the tremendous opportunity to chart a new course towards health and sustainable human development for a more equitable and healthier future for all.

Upcoming Courses

TIPS, Trivandrum, Kerala

GCRI, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

MNJIO & RCC, Hyderabad, Telengana

BMCHRC, Jaipur, Rajasthan

For more details on the courses we offer, please visit:

Open Society Foundation organizes global advocacy meeting on palliative care

New York 11 2015On the 17th and 18th of November, 2015, strategists, advocacy experts and palliative care workers from all over the world, about 25 people, met in New York. The meeting’s mission: to discuss the relevance and way forward as far as palliative care advocacy was concerned.

Many of the expert presentations were eye-openers for the rest of the participants. We are so glad that Open Society Foundation (OSF) is taking this leadership in advocacy in palliative care. Looking back, it is easy to see that inadequate advocacy has been a major shortcoming, limiting global development of palliative care to the present level.

Thank you, OSF!

Young cancer leaders

Cancer 1Congratulations to the 15 young activists who were chosen by UICC as Young Cancer Leaders.

Pallium India is proud to have had the chance to work with two of them – Ms Afsan Bhadelia and Ms Neha Tripathi. Well done, friends.

Dr Rajagopal honored in Hannover

IMG_0385Our Chairman, Dr M. R. Rajagopal was honored at Hannover, Germany, on 1 November, 2015 in connection with the Alison Des Forges award that was bestowed on him by Human Rights Watch in November, 2014.

The agenda included a visit to Hospiz Luise (in the picture), a pain management centre, as well as interviews with the press.

Seeking Experienced International Physicians

Pallium India seeks clinically experienced international physicians who are able to practice and teach in a variety of settings, include home visits, outpatient visits, and the inpatient unit. They must be adaptable to new environments and be able to commit to over 3 months. Pallium India will provide translators as most patients will prefer to speak Malayalam. Teaching will be done in English.
If you are interested, please write to us:

Donate Toys for children!

We are happily accepting toy donations for our weekly children’s palliative care clinic. Certain specifications need to be considered before sending the toys across, due to the nature of the children’s illnesses.

Kindly avoid toys with small breakable parts, anything with batteries, toys with sharp edges, regular sized Lego pieces, jigsaw puzzles with small pieces, games involving liquids (like the ones that shoot rings onto sticks at the press of a button), stuffed toys that have fine hair and fluff, etc.

If you are interested in sending something across, do call us (+91-9746745497) or write to Thank you very much!

image06Palliative Care Information Centre

Contact Pallium India’s Information Centre (9 am to 12 noon) for information related to palliative care and about establishments where such facilities are available in India.

Telephone: +91-9746745497 or E-mail:
Address: Pallium India, Arumana Hospital, Perunthanni, Trivandrum

For more details, please visit:

Sahayatra Malayalam Newsletter

Sahayatra LogoSAHAYATRA, Pallium India’s Malayalam print magazine, is meant for anyone interested in palliative care – patients and families, palliative care professionals, volunteers and well-wishers.

Click here to read the latest issue:

To subscribe to Sahayatra, please send your complete postal address to

Vacancy for Medical Officer in Palliative Care at WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) is recruiting for the post of Medical Officer in the Service Delivery and Safety (SDS) Department of the Health Systems and Innovation (HIS) cluster.

Last date to apply: 11 December 2015

Title: Medical Officer
Duty Station: Geneva, Switzerland
Duration of Contract: 1 year
Organization unit: HQ/HIS Health Systems and Innovation (HQ/HIS) / HQ/SDS Service Delivery and Safety (HQ/SDS)

Essential: Advanced university degree in medicine or related field and a formal post graduate qualification in palliative care.
Desirable: Degree in public health.

Essential: At least ten years’ experience in palliative care.
Desirable: Experience of working with international organizations.

For more details and to apply, please visit WHO e-Recruitment – Medical Officer

Narratives on Pain and Relief: Giving voice to the voiceless

In another step forward, the Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy now has a page on the website where all the narratives published so far can be accessed.

If you are in any way connected with palliative care, you must be having a story in you, that touched your heart. Do please put it in writing and send it to us: You get an indexed publication to your credit. And also the satisfaction of having helped the cause. Read more here.

Here are some of the narratives that have been published:

  • Through the Eyes of Child: Mary Macey’s reflection on her childhood and adolescence, after losing her mother and how palliative care brought her experience into focus.
  • When Two Worlds Meet: Lyndsey Brahm writes about the cultural immersion that she experienced when she visited the east from the west.
  • They Suffer in Silence: Savita Butola writes about the intensity of grief, related to life-limiting disease in the developing world.
  • Pain – When It Affects the Person: the impact of pain on the body and mind, written by Edassery Divakaran

Accessibility for all

After we launched the Wheelchair friendly Trivandrum initiative, Ms Sharada Devi from Trivandrum wrote to us. She tells us how, despite being in a wheelchair, she completed her education; however, in her own words, “being physically disabled, accessibility has become a hurdle. Just because of lack of accessibility, I am losing scores of opportunities to develop in my academic life.”

“As a physically challenged person, I had faced, and still face, many challenges and obstacles in day-to-day life. The lack of facilities like ramps and lifts in many places have posed difficulties for me and my parents. Almost all the present buildings, including government offices and educational institutions, lack such facilities.”

Please read what she has to say and share it with others. Join us in our efforts to make our cities barrier-free.

Related posts:
Action plan for making your city wheelchair-friendly
Making Trivandrum Wheelchair-friendly

News from around the world


To help the most caring profession to care even more

IMG_20151127_12511305817 nursing leaders from various parts of Kerala got together at Pallium India’s Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS) for two days of ‘Training the Trainers’ program.

We are not sure who learned more – the faculty or the trainees!

What enthusiasm! They fill us with hope.

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