Dr Ann Broderick, Director of Palliative Medicine at University of Iowa, writes about Pallium India’s Wednesday outpatient clinic at Murukkumpuzha, and the volunteers, the patients and the family members who come together and support each other.
Above the sound of the call to prayer in Murukkumpuzha, a group gathers and chats in the public library on the second floor. Wednesday is outpatient day and those who can climb the stairs come and visit with the Pallium India team – nurse, doctor, social worker and volunteer.
Here, they will get an assessment of their social situation, their symptoms and refills of their medications.
Many healthy appearing women are in clinic on this day. Their husbands or fathers have been injured through accidents either in India or in Gulf countries. Or the menfolk have had strokes and cannot make the trip to clinic. The women serve as ‘proxies’ – reporting symptoms and getting some support for the hard work that they do at home, in addition to their wage earning jobs.