August 2018 Newsletter

2018 July 31
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Trivandrum Medical College decides to integrate palliative care with clinical services

In what we see as a major step forward in Trivandrum, the Government Medical College has decided to integrate palliative care with their clinical services. In the picture, you see the Principal of the college, Dr Thomas Mathew discussing the ways and means at the college committee of management meeting held on 24 July 2018.

Concurrently, 7 clinicians including two heads of departments underwent a 10 day Foundation course in palliative medicine organised by Pallium India’s Trivandrum Institute.

Pallium India thanks Health Minister of Kerala, Smt K. K. Shailaja and additional chief secretary Shri Rajiv Sadanandan IAS for their initiative in making this happen. Our gratitude also to all at Govt. Medical College, Trivandrum, for allowing Pallium India to walk with them on this important journey.

Palliative care progress in Uttarakhand

Exposing medical students to palliative care, we are glad to say, has started happening in many parts of the country.

Considering that the Medical Council of India (MCI) still has not included palliative care in the curriculum, it is only these individual initiatives that seem to be happening; but Pallium India is very happy that our efforts are showing results, even though progress is slow.

We are partnering with Ganga Prem Hospice in Rishikesh to spread the message of palliative care across the state of Uttarakhand.

See the fruit of one of their efforts: More than 40 medical students are learning palliative care. Hurray!

A call to action for regional and national palliative care organisations

Be the connective tissue between you and your Government, says Dr Katherine Pettus.

In this advocacy backgrounder, Dr Pettus, International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care (IAHPC) Advocacy Officer, explains how global organisations are working together to ensure that palliative care language is included in the Political Declaration, where it is currently absent. And to help you play a vital advocacy role, there are several resources to use.

Please read: A call to action for regional and national palliative care organisations

Palliative care can ensure global health and well-being

“Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages” is one of the goals of the Millennium Development Goals set up by UN General assembly in 2010. This is expected to build a better world for all to live in, by 2030.

But what does it take to ensure health and well-being?

Please read this excellent article by Ms Harmala Gupta, Founder and President of CanSupport, New Delhi: Palliative care can ensure global health and well-being

Vacancy: Project Officer – National Level

  • Organization: Pallium India
  • Job Title: Project Officer-National Level
  • No. of vacancies: 4
  • Nature of Job: Permanent – Full Time
  • Remuneration: Depends on the candidate’s KSAs
  • Reporting to: CEO/Project Director
  • Place of Job: Any of the States in India where Pallium India has projects
  • Job Description: The Project Officer will be responsible for advancing palliative care at the national level with responsibilities for specific states as assigned by the CEO.
    • Work with public and private medical and other related institutions to set up palliative care programs
    • Work for the integration of palliative care in health systems at the state including at primary care levels
    • Work for the integration of palliative care in medical and nursing education
    • Work for bringing about changes in law and policies for the advancement of palliative care
    • Conduct relevant training programs and workshops for relevant stakeholders for advancing palliative care including on laws related to availability of opioids
    • Initiate and or implement projects related to palliative care including working at the community level in the implementation of relevant projects
    • Document, write reports and undertake research to contribute to Pallium India’s learning process
    • Contribute to fund raising including by writing proposals and be part of other relevant activities
    • Undertake any other relevant tasks for the advancement of palliative care at the national and state levels.
  • Language: Fluency in English in writing and speaking is a must. Fluency in Hindi is a must for candidates to be deployed in the Northern states.
  • Personal characteristics: Willing to travel and work independently; take initiatives; provide leadership; ability to work with various stakeholders; and be part of a team with diverse background and experiences.
  • Qualification: Master’s in Public Health (Full-Time) from a recognized university
  • Experience: 0-2 years
  • How to Apply: Interested candidates can send detailed and updated CV to hr@palliumindia.org with subject line as “Application for Project Officer”.
  • For more details, contact: Arathy V Nair @ +91 9746745501 / Email: hr@palliumindia.org

‘Hippocratic’ screened in Coimbatore & Trivandrum

Hippocratic – 18 experiments in gently shaking the world” was screened in Coimbatore on July 14, 2018. There was a panel discussion following the screening, in which the audience participated actively and brought up many pertinent questions. Our thanks to Dr Balaji and team for organizing the event and making it a grand success. The program was attended by caregivers, patients, students and palliative care supporters.

The first official screening of Hippocratic in Kerala was at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK) in Trivandrum on 21 July 2018. The film was screened in the ‘International’ category. Image: Dr M. R. Rajagopal and his wife Dr Chandrika (right) with Ms Bina Paul (Vice Chairperson, Kerala State Chalachitra Academy) and Mr Kamal (Chairman, Kerala State Chalachitra Academy)

Read a review of the film by Dr. Shital Raval, published in PatientsEngage: https://www.patientsengage.com/news-and-views/hippocratic-18-experiments-gently-shaking-world

Pankaja Srinivasan writes in The Hindu: In sickness and in pain

Please contribute to Pallium India’s food-kit program

Pallium India provides palliative care to people suffering from chronic or life-limiting illnesses who need care for the rest of their lives. Palliative care involves improving quality of life of these people, by treating pain and other symptoms and by providing emotional, social and spiritual support.

Pallium India’s programs include home visit by a team consisting of a doctor, nurse, social worker and a local community volunteer. During these visits, very often we come across people whose lives have been ravaged by disease, left in isolation and financially ruined. We see the silent helplessness in their eyes when doctors prescribe medicines to be “taken after meals” – there is no money left to buy or cook food, and the family is starving.

Pallium India’s food-kit program supports these poor families by providing monthly a kit costing about ₹1000/- containing 5kg rice, sugar, tea and groceries.

There are countless deserving families, but we are able to reach only a fraction of them.

What can you do?

You can make a difference to such families by supporting Pallium India’s food-kit program. Please donate ₹1000 (for one month) or ₹6000 (for six months) or ₹12,000 (for a year) so that we can reach more and more people in need.

You can donate using one of these ways:

Online donation & foreign transfer: https://palliumindia.org/donate/

For Domestic Transfer:
State Bank of India
Branch: Pattom, Trivandrum
Beneficiary: Pallium India Trust
Account No: 30086491915
IFS Code: SBIN0003355
MICR No: 695002007

For donations from the USA, please visit: http://palliumindiausa.org/

Contributions as cheque or DD can be sent to: Chairman, Pallium India Trust, VP XIII/80, Golden Hills, Venkode P.O. Vattappara, Thiruvananthapuram 695028.

For more details, please visit: https://palliumindia.org/donate/

Write to us to let us know that your contribution is for the Foodkit program: info@palliumindia.org / 9746745497, 9746745504

Dr Rajagopal receives Fr Gabriel Chiramel annual award

It is a matter of pride to Pallium India that our Chairman, Dr M. R. Rajagopal, received the Father Gabriel Chiramel annual award of 2018 during the graduation ceremony held at Amala Institute of Medical Sciences on 3rd July 2018.

Father Gabriel Chiramel was a zoologist and educationist, who was a trail blazer in conceptualizing and establishing institutions with people’s participation. The Christ College at Irinjalakkuda, Amala Cancer Hospital in Thrissur (which later became Amala Medical College), and several other educational institutions render cardinal service today.

It is indeed a great privilege to us that Pallium India’s work got recognition through an award in the name of this great visionary.

With numb limbs, paraplegic gives thumbs up to life…

Ayyappan R, Manorama Online

Onmanorama met Aji and Remya on the Vattappara premises of Pallium India, one of India’s finest palliative care centres. Aji was recovering from a nasty bedsore that had formed on his back. Aji is a highly regarded skills trainer at Pallium.

“His is not the kind of bedsore we find on bedridden people,” Remya tells us. “His bedsore had developed because he sits a lot. This is common among paraplegics. But in his case, carelessness too should take some blame,” she said, turning to her husband with a frown and a hint of a naughty smile.

Aji has no sensation below his waist. “My problem is that I don’t realise when these bedsores develop. I don’t even know when the wound starts opening up. Only when the puss oozes out and it stinks that I come to know of it. By that time most of the flesh is gone,” Aji said. This time he developed it because he sat making umbrellas for four days at a stretch. The order was for 480 three-fold umbrellas from a school.

Read more ->

‘Cancer treatment does not make for easy end to life’

Jyoti Shelar, The Hindu

Nearly 80% of cancer patients, including children, get aggressive treatment like chemotherapy, radiotherapy and sometimes a combination of both as they near the end of life. However, only half of them get referred to palliative care, which could offer them the much-needed relief from the tumour-specific treatment, a recently-published study has revealed.

The study looked at medical records of 96 patients (52 adults and 44 paediatric) who succumbed between April 1 and September 30, 2016, at a government-run hospital in Hyderabad due to haematological malignancies such as leukaemia and lymphoma, and solid tumours.

Read More->

62% of elderly in India lack long-term, palliative care, reveals survey for UN

Neetu Chandra Sharma, LiveMint

A large majority of the elderly in India do not get long-term and palliative care, revealed a study conducted for the United Nations
The survey of more than 10,000 respondents across northern, southern, western, eastern, and central India during May-June 2018, showed that 62.1% of the elderly did not get such care. More than half of these people, 52.4%, said they primarily need traditional family support, says a study by Agewell Research and Advocacy Centre.

Read More -> 

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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:

http://palliumindia.org/donate/ (India)

http://palliumindiausa.org/ (USA)

Write to us: info@palliumindia.org

Call us: +91-9746745497 (India) / +1-718-273-8597 (USA)

All donations to Pallium India are tax deductible.

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Have Queries? Contact: info@palliumindia.org.

Find out more about our courses at: http://palliumindia.org/courses/

A wise guide helped us with the living before and after my father’s death

Priscilla Ennals, The Guardian

The process of dying is so removed, sterile, and disconnected from living that it is hard to know what to do when confronted with a terminal diagnosis. Discussions with the medical experts commonly offer little guidance in questions that loom large, and for loved ones, equally, there is little direction. Death doulas – wise guides to dying – may offer a way through for those who are lost.

My father recently died from MND. I sat with him 21 months before his death in the office of the neurologist as the diagnosis was revealed. The specialist was kind and sorry, but it was a blunt talk. People live typically less than two years. Dad had little idea of the reality of what was to follow but had heard of Neale Daniher and his fight against the “beast”. The terminal nature of this disease didn’t really land for him. He had seen off a brain tumour, bowel cancer (twice), a stroke. He had things to do, people to help. He reflected on how lucky he had been in his life and still felt luck was on his side.

Read More -> 

Putting death on the school timetable

Matt Pickles, BBC News

Australian doctors argue that if the law and ethics around palliative care and euthanasia were taught in classrooms, it would make such issues less “traumatic” and help people to make better informed decisions.

Read More-> 

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We regularly post articles related to palliative care from around the world.

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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: info@palliumindia.org
Address: VP 80/13, Golden Hills, Venkode P.O., Vattappara, Thiruvananthapuram 695028

For more details, please visit: http://palliumindia.org/info-centre/

PARTING SHOT

A medical student reacts to a sign, “LISTEN”

Medical students of Trivandrum Medical College are routinely posted to palliative care during their community medicine posting. Following his visit to the palliative care centre run by Pallium India’s Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS), medical student Ananth Shajan wrote this on his Facebook wall:

“LISTEN” – the green board was the first thing to catch my eye. Having gotten used to boards requesting “Silence Please” in front of hospital wards and ICUs, it was a novel experience. And a revelation.

Pallium India. Make no mistake when you say that name. It’s a place that should be considered a true place of worship.

For those of us who compete with each other to examine each “case” and elicit findings, Pallium India demonstrated another dimension of medicine.

Palliative Care, for us, existed only in a corner of our thick medical textbooks until now. These Gods (to me they are the real Gods) and angels showed us that it can actually be practised.

We also realised that Trivandrum Medical College could produce real doctors and not only some who see patients as just a source of income.

Thank you, Trivandrum Medical College, for instilling in us right from the first year of our medical studies, the important message “treat the patient; not the disease”.

(Translated from Ananth Shajan’s Facebook post in Malayalam, by Pallium India)

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