Published on: June 30, 2017

80% of the world’s population in the Global South, let us sit down somewhere and cry a bit quietly.

The WHO essential medicines list has been revised.

Transdermal fentanyl (about 150 times the cost of ordinary morphine tablets in India) and sustained release morphine (several times the cost of immediate release poor man’s morphine) now find a place in the list. Already the situation was bad enough. Not only in India, but through much of the low-income world, hospitals and pharmacies were being persuaded to stock only the expensive medicines and doctors were informed systematically only about them.

Now things are sure to get worse – for the 80%; for the voiceless. Decision makers will be persuaded steadily, steadily, to spend the scarce resources on the expensive medicines. Instead of getting low-cost morphine for as long as needed, people of our countries will now get a patch of fentanyl – once? twice? And then they will be plunged back into their sea of pain.

Our Morphine Manifesto which has been buried alive, must be turning in its grave.

Theme for world hospice and palliative care day announced:

The WHPCA has announced the theme of this year’s World Hospice and Palliative Care Day:

“Universal Health Coverage and Palliative Care: Don’t leave those suffering behind”!

It falls on 14 October 2017 (2nd Saturday of October).

Please see the WHPCA website for more information:

Children’s education program – you can help!

Pallium India supports the education of children from families ravaged by disease. Many of them were on the verge of dropping out of school owing to financial difficulties. This year, Pallium India supports the education of 300 students (upto +2). The average fee (including tuition & transport) is estimated to be ₹7,500 per child, this year. We need your assistance to meet the expense.

Can you help?

Our target is to raise ₹5,00,000 by July 15th, 2017.

Whatever you donate, however small an amount it may seem, would go a long way in reaching our goal.

You can donate online, or through NEFT, or via demand draft. Let us know that your donation is for “Children’s Education Program”. Please visit this link for details:

In case of queries, please contact us: / 9746745497

(Image: Kuttikkoottam Summer Camp for children, April 2017)

Video Of The Month #GARVSE

Thank you, Dr Aditi Chaturvedi, for bringing to our attention this powerful video released by Shankar Mahadevan foundation and Enable India. Please watch: Shankar Mahadevan’s Beautiful Video Smashes Stereotypes Around People With Disabilities

Donate to Pallium India

The money you give will pay for essential free medicines for the poor, for their travel to the clinic or for schooling of their children, or other forms of care. Please give whatever you can. No amount is too small.

To donate, please visit:

Write to us: / 9746745497

News from Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is called “Dev Bhoomi” – the land of the gods. Indeed it is an intensely  beautiful place in the foothills of the Himalayas.

With the support of Tata trusts, Pallium India had worked with champions in the government medical College at Tanda to develop a palliative care service. Now, the state has taken a major step forward.

On 29 June 2017 at Shimla, with Mr Prabodh Saxena IAS, the Principal Secretary for Health in the chair, Pallium India participated in a workshop with officials in the health department, medical education department, national health Mission and chief medical officers to discuss an action plan to improve access to palliative care in the state. This happens to be a state in which Mr. Navneet Marwaha, the drugs controller, has already implemented the Narcotics Amendment Act of 2014.

We have high hopes for palliative care development in the state.

To live until the final fall

“Palliative care has for long been seen as the last resort for terminally-ill cancer patients, a misconception that unfortunately skews public perception, according to Dr Mallika Tiruvadanan, consultant doctor, Lakshmi Pain and Palliative Care Centre.”

Please read the article on the poor access to palliative care in our country by Gokul Nair in The New Indian Express.

While it is gratifying to see the growing attention of the media on palliative care, it is sad to see that most of the time we have only bad news to convey – that there is so little palliative care in the country. So much needless suffering!

A prayer answered; thank you Dr Aju Mathew

Pallium India’s information centre frequently receives requests for advise on management, particularly of cancer. Of course we make it clear that we cannot provide treatment online, but still people need to have questions answered. Often their doctors do not have the time or the inclination to provide information. Several busy oncologists, especially and most frequently, Dr M. V. Pillai in the USA, have helped us in the past by going through case histories and offering guidance. But we have always felt guilty about bothering them. Now, Dr Aju Mathew (in the picture) has created a website in Malayalam precisely to provide information on cancer. It includes details of various cancer types, how to treat, issues, side effects and FAQs.

Please visit: Kerala Cancer Care.  You can contact them via or send your queries directly to

Thank you, Dr Aju Mathew. Your hard work of the past two years is now helping reduce suffering from diseases.

Thank you BharatConnect, for giving visibility to palliative care.

भारतCONNECT is a social platform that aims to voice out the stories of change-makers who are working throughout India to make lives better. They strive to bridge the gap between Social Enterprises and people looking out for opportunities to get involved through the most powerful medium – Stories.

Thank you, BharatConnect, for giving visibility to our work.

Friends, to see the article of June 17, 2017 by Tanya V. Sharma, please visit

Freemasons and universal brotherhood day

At the Freemasons Hall at Trivandrum, on 24 June 2017, Pallium India received a kind donation as the Freemasons were observing Universal brotherhood day.

Thank you very much, Freemasons, for your consistent support. A vehicle which you donated is still being used for our home visits. And this donation can pay for the cost of medicines for 200 patients for a month.


Pallium India honored!

Sandeepani Sewa Samiti at Kaladi, Trivandrum, honored Dr M. R. Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, with their 2nd annual award. We expect that the involvement of this humane organisation will significantly reduce health-related suffering in their locality. And the purse that came with the award, as usual, goes towards patient care.

Thank you for the recognition, compassionate friends at Sandeepani Sewa Samiti.

Upcoming Events

Aug 11, 2017: ICRA Pain 2017 (International Conference on Recent Advances in Pain), Hotel Hyatt Regency, Pune. Theme: “From Tears to Cheers”. Visit: Contact:

Sep 4, 2017: One month certificate course in Pain and Palliative Medicine for Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers and Volunteers in Hyderabad, Telengana. Contact:

Sep 6, 2017: 6 week certificate course in Palliative Medicine/nursing for Doctors and nurses at Trivandrum, Kerala. Contact:

Sep 6, 2017: 10 days Foundation course in Palliative Medicine for doctors in Trivandrum, Kerala. Contact:

October 14, 2017: International conference on Peri-operative Cancer Care at Jawaharlal Nehru Auditorium, AIIMS, New Delhi. Register:

Feb 23, 2018: IAPCON 2018, Jawaharlal Auditorium, AIIMS, New Delhi. Visit:

Feb 24, 2018: 8th Congress on PAIN – South Asian Regional Pain Society. Last date to register: 1 January, 2018. Contact: Website:

For details on these programs, contact: Find out more at:

Join Our Facebook Page

Pallium India’s Facebook page has over 5000 Likes. We regularly post articles related to palliative care from around the world.

Click here to Like our page!

We’re also on Twitter: @palliumindia

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:


Wheel to Reel

Being on a wheelchair did not prevent Dr Siju Vijayan from dreaming, or for that matter, from realising his dreams. On 17 June 2017 at the International Documentary & Short Film Festival of Kerala in Kairali theatre at Trivandrum, several of us at Pallium India had the privilege of attending the premiere of his short film, “Wheel to Reel“. The film has been selected under the category “short documentary”.

You might remember that the short film on palliative care, “Lighting up Lives” was also his directorial venture.

The pleasure of attending the event was augmented for many of us because the organisers were empathetic enough to construct a ramp so that the director of “Wheel to Reel” as well as other attendees could wheel themselves in and attend the event. Festival director Kamal, artistic director Bina Paul and executive director Mahesh Panju, we applaud your essential humanity and sensitivity to others’ dignity.

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