January 2019 Newsletter

2019 January 1
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“Hope is the thing with feathers,

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all.”

– Emily Dickinson

As we wind up what can only be described as an exacting year full of intense experiences – both joyful and otherwise – there is no doubt that there remains much to be done.

Perhaps the most dramatic and heartbreaking event was the flooding that Kerala experienced – the worst in a century. Thousands of lives were forever altered. But from the tumult and chaos arose something even more powerful – people coming together to rescue and restore their fellow human beings. The outpouring of courage and compassion from laypeople, fishermen, communities, state authorities reinstated the immense potency of people working together towards something good. It also brought to the forefront the need for palliative care services to be integrated into disaster management, where already vulnerable families are left on the brink of complete annihilation after a calamity. Our work here is long term and as we write this, efforts to restore some semblance of wellbeing to illness-ravaged families in the aftermath of the flood are still ongoing in full swing.

We moved house. Again! We were previously located in a rented building in the middle of the city. Dr. Thaha (Founder of PMS Dental College at Vattappara) very generously offered us a whole floor free of cost, allowing us to save on rent, and we are now about 25 kilometers from the city centre, at VP XIII/80, Golden Hills, Venkode P.O., Vattappara, Thiruvananthapuram-695028. Thank you, Dr Thaha!

New relationships have been forged across India, and efforts were made across 24 states and 4 Union Territories, of which we now have collaborative work happening in 18 States and 2 Union Territories. More than 50 sensitization programs, Continuous Medical Education (CME) and Continuous Nursing Education (CNE) sessions were conducted through various projects under our flagship.

Four years after the NDPS Act was amended, we continue to conduct Opioid Availability Workshops in a bid to raise awareness and educate stakeholders about access to and the balanced use of opioids. 4 such workshops took place in 2018 in Wardha, Patna, Lucknow and Aizawl in Mizoram with the relevant government officials in attendance.

International collaborations remain a cornerstone in the palliative care community. Our colleagues from other countries have, as always, been committed to assisting us in bringing quality education to our country. 25 workshops were conducted by international faculty in 2018, including Dr. Robert Twycross in Guwahati & Shillong, Ms. Gilly Burn in Shillong, Pondicherry, Ahemdabad, Anand, Surat, Wardha and Nagpur, Dr. Odette Spruijit & Ms. Mary Duffy twice in Patna, Dr. Christine Drummond & Maite Urbite in Agartala.

The depth and scope of palliative care lends itself beautifully to alliances across spheres, and we are so proud to have built a new bridge via a Ten-day foundation training conducted in Silchar, Assam for the para military forces of Assam Rifles under the NEAAC project – North Eastern Alliance Against Cancer.

Under the National program for Palliative Care, and in collaboration with the National Health Mission, doctors and nurses were trained in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Mizoram.

This year we also ventured with more focus into the arena of gender inequity in healthcare. 80% of caregivers globally are women. In our own country, women tend to access healthcare services far less frequently than men, and when they do, oftentimes they are denied appropriate care. With invaluable assistance from FOMAA (Federation of Malayalees Association of Americas), we are now reaching out to these marginalized women with care and opportunities. We organized a one-day workshop – ‘Samarppanam 2018’ on 1st December 2018 where women caregivers had an opportunity to speak openly about their challenges and participate in planning activities. A documentary, “Support – a different story” was filmed to showcase this issue.

With support from Mobility International USA’s (MIUSA) Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD), we embarked on yet another new and vital journey – a project to empower women in health crisis. A one-day workshop was organized on the 15th of December 2018 to empower women with disabilities, one of the most marginalized communities. Here we talked and learned about Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act 2016 of India, and women’s rights in general with particular focus on sexual and reproductive health. 19 women with different types of disabilities attended the workshop which created a unique opportunity for them to interact to each other and learn from each other.

The ethic of Autonomy means so much more than the right to self-determination. We as civil society need to create avenues where self-determination can be made possible. The old, rather outdated adage goes that women wait to be rescued by a prince who slays monsters. The new reality is that all we have to do is hand her the right weapons that she may slay them herself. When we empower our women, we empower whole communities.

In very heartening international news, more than a 100 countries were involved in the Astana Declaration from the World Health Organisation, where palliative care was recognized as an essential part of Universal Health Coverage. The Astana Declaration asks healthcare systems to involve communities, not only as partners but also handing over some control to them.

Ahead of Universal Health Coverage Day on 12th December 2018, several awareness programs and a press meet took place, followed by one major event on 11th December 2018 in collaboration with the Govt Medical College, Trivandrum. Two luminaries – Shri Keshav Desiraju, the former principal health secretary of Govt of India and the architect of the National Program for Palliative Care(NPPC) and Shri S M Vijayanand, former Chief Secretary of Kerala Govt chaired the panel discussions and audience interaction. Mr Rajeev Sadanandan, Additional Chief Secretary & head of executive of health department in Kerala gave the key note address.

A break from normal activities saw the film ‘Hippocratic – 18 Experiments in Gently Shaking the World’ go on tour across many cities in Australia, Canada, USA, U.K, South Africa & Uganda.

The creation of Mike and Sue Hill of Moonshine Agency, Australia, ‘Hippocratic’ was a project they embarked on after travelling the world and meeting palliative care experts in every corner. When they expressed their wish to make a full-length feature based on the narrative of Dr. Raj, we felt both grateful and privileged. Within India, as a part of the awareness campaign, the film was screened in 11 cities, creating awareness about palliative care amongst the general public, collaborating with local NGOs and government officials for better accessibility of opioids and palliative care services, and encouraging participation from both medical professionals and volunteers to contribute to building palliative care in communities.

Through this tour we also engaged urban audiences who hitherto were largely unaware of what palliative care truly entailed, or held common misconceptions about it. The film was warmly received and a very happy side effect was a coming together of different palliative care providers in several cities. Palliative care can be a bridge across sectors engaged in humanitarian service. We have so much in common and we are so much stronger together. We hope that this building of bridges continues across spheres in a country that has numerous organisations doing commendable work, but tend to work fragmentally.

We would like to remember all those who made the transition from life into death in 2018, and what they taught us along the way – they have been our greatest teachers.

To the families that have lost loved ones – we stand with you in your continuing grief.

To our partners, contributors and collaborators – our deepest gratitude for walking with us down this often thorny path, along which we intend to sow seeds of hope and compassion.

As we stand at the threshold of a new year, with shining new possibilities, we wish you and yours health in its true sense, courage to be a voice for the voiceless and a light in the darkness.

(This note has been prepared by Pallium India’s trustee, Smriti Rana.)

Palliative Care is in the very definition of Universal Health Coverage, so why wait?

Sumitha T. S., Project Officer, Pallium India, writes:

Universal Health Coverage day was observed across the world on 12 Dec 2018. To commemorate this day, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram and Pallium India Trust organized a workshop on 11th December, titled “Palliative Care & Universal Health Coverage in Kerala – The Way Forward, Call for Action Based on Astana Declaration”.

The workshop was led by eminent personalities like Shri Rajeev Sadanandan IAS (Additional Chief Secretary, MoH&FW, Kerala), Shri Kesav Desiraju IAS (Former Principal Secretary, MoH&FW, GoI), Shri SM Vijayanand IAS (Former Chief Secretary, Kerala), Dr TK Sundari Ravindran (Former Professor, AMCHSS, SCTIMST), Shri Narayanan Puthukudy (General Secretary, IAPC-Kerala), Dr Thomas Mathew (Principal, Govt. Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram) and Dr M.R Rajagopal (Chairman, Pallium India). Although it was a hartal day in Thiruvananthapuram district, more than 150 participants managed to join the workshop which calls out loudly the importance given to palliative care by our civil society.

The discussion began with emphasizing the need to include palliative care in primary health care and then moved on to a wide array of components. A few important points were the life cycle approach of Ardram mission, requirement of human resource and capacity building in palliative care delivery, absence of palliative care package in the new public health insurance scheme, absence of palliative care training in medical, nursing and allied health sciences, a monitoring agency to look into the implementation, synergizing with various departments for effective implementation, importance of initiating and delivering paediatric palliative care services, implementation of Clinical Establishment Act, gender disparity in accessing, care givers’ plight and disability that also includes disability arising due to mental health issues.

Developing a pool of volunteers at state level and student volunteers was also suggested as community engagement in National Health Policy 2017 was reinforced through Astana Declaration. Although Indian Constitution regards improvement of public health as state’s primary duty, we spend less that 1% of our GDP for public health expenditure. According to Lancet Commission Report, minimum cost per capita for palliative care service delivery ranges from $ 115 to $ 694.

The program concluded with a declaration to take palliative care forward in Kerala. This declaration will be submitted to government of Kerala, GoI and to all other state governments to strengthen palliative care services.

Click here to read the declaration prepared as an outcome of this workshop.

Would it be possible for us to deliver quality palliative care to all in the near future? If not, how does India achieve UHC by 2030? Let us wait for something good to happen but until then let us not sit idle.

Pallium India is looking for land in Trivandrum

Pallium India needs 1/2 to 1 acre with good road access in Trivandrum for its headquarters. Expression of interest invited to donate/long lease. Please contact: info@palliumindia.org / 9746746528 / 9074680883
Kindly share this among your connections.

26th IAPC Conference at Kochi – 8, 9, 10 Feb 2019

The 26th International Conference of Indian Association of Palliative Care – IAPCONKochi2019 – will be held on 8th, 9th and 10th February 2019 (with a Pre-Conference Workshop on 7th February 2019) at AELI Hills, Keezhmadu, Aluva, Ernakulam, Kerala, India.

The Conference theme “Voices in palliative care; ensuring quality, creating solutions” centres around the core palliative care attitude of listening…to those living with serious health-related suffering and their families, to our communities, to our palliative care teams, to global palliative care advocates and to our policy and academic leaders.

To Register and for more information, please visit the conference website: http://www.iapconkochi2019.com/

Follow IAPCONKochi2019 on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iapconkochi2019/

Video of the month: A calendar featuring 12 superwomen!


If there is one wall calendar or desk calendar that you want to buy for the new year, let it be this one.

12 real women of substance are featured in each month. 12 superwomen who overcame disabilities to make this world a better place for the differently-abled.

To order your copy, please write to swargafoundation1@gmail.com or call +91 73977 00482 or +91 88709 55111.

Cost ₹300/- (plus shipping). Delivery within Coimbatore will be free of cost.

Any profit out of the sale of this calendar will go towards support of the differently abled through Swarga foundation, Coimbatore.

To know more about Swarga Foundation, visit www.swargafoundation.org.

Request to donate assistive devices

If you have an assistive device like walker, wheelchair etc. which is no longer in use, and if it is in or around Trivandrum, please let us know. These devices can be of immense value to a lot of people who cannot to afford a new one.

Contact us: info@palliumindia.org or +91-9746745497.

Please note: Unless they are in good condition it may not be worthwhile our accepting them. Sorry!

If you are not in Trivandrum, please contact your nearest palliative care centre so that somebody can make use of it.

Workshop on empowering Women with Disabilities

“Imagine if all the flowers in the world were of the same colour and shape – how boring it would be! What makes the world a beautiful place is the presence of so many different kinds of flowers – of all shapes and colours and types. Or, imagine how it would be if the fingers of our hands were alike. Each finger serves a different purpose and each one exists for a reason. It is just so, with human beings as well – we are all different, each one of us is unique, each one of us is important. We serve different roles in this life – together, we make this world a delightful place to live in.” These were the inspiring words of Sarasu Thomas, author of stories and poems, and recipient of several awards, who was the chief guest for concluding meeting of a workshop on empowering differently abled women, held at Kanthari International Institute for Social Change, Vellayani, Thiruvananthapuram, on December 15, 2018. The workshop was organized by Pallium India in collaboration with Mobility International USA’s (MIUSA) Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD).

19 differently abled women attended the program, including ten students with hearing impairment from National Institute of Speech & Hearing (NISH), three visually impaired students from Cotton Hill School, and six women in wheelchair who belong to various fields. The program was also attended by several volunteers.

Everyone actively took part in a discussion on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) and women’s rights, which was followed by an informative session on sexual and reproductive health by Dr Shaliya James. Following this, the participants were asked to spend some time pondering over their own lives and ambitions, and later speak about them. One of the volunteers gave a class on the basics of sign language to the rest of the volunteers.

Aishwarya, a student of Cotton Hill school who dreams of being a musician, enthralled the listeners with a beautiful song. At the end of the program, everyone left with the firm conviction that their ambitions were indeed within reach.

At the conclusion of the workshop, everyone promised to work together on improving the lives of differently abled people.

Ashla Rani, the winner of the youth icon award of Kerala government, made this pioneering effort. Way to go, Ashla!

Events that transform lives

Nincy Mariam Mondly, a participant at the Workshop on empowering Women with Disabilities organized by Pallium India and Mobility International USA’s (MIUSA) Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD), shares her experience:

The workshop on women empowerment held on 15 December 2018 at the Kanthari International Institute for Social change, Nemom, was yet another opportunity that knocked at my door unexpectedly. It was like a cake with many cherries on top of it; knowing that I wouldn’t feel left out among a group of physically challenged women (students with speech and hearing problems from NISH, blind students from Jyothirgamaya and others like myself with locomotor disability) was a powerful motivator to attend it. Added bonuses like not having to pay any fees for participating and the venue being close to my house gave me more reasons to be part of the workshop. Even at the last moment, when the arrangements I had made for travelling didn’t work out, Ashla Krishnan became the Knight in shining armour, who took me along with her to the venue like a VIP. Holding my head up high and with a toothy smile I sat in the tempo as it approached the venue.

The venue, one of the best parts of the workshop, encompassed several Baker-model buildings, a lot of greenery and was beside the Vellayani lake (largest fresh water lake in Trivandrum). I know this because I myself had driven my automatic wheelchair all around these places, taking in the fresh air and feeling close to nature.

A lot of smiling faces welcomed me; these were the staff of Pallium India and many CET student volunteers who catered to our needs with great care. The participants warmed up to each other quickly, feeling united in the joy we felt just by being together. If our wheelchairs stand out usually, in the workshop, our personalities stood out.

After the brief welcome address, the workshop began with advocate Sandhya’s session. She explained how the law seeks to serve and protect us. She encouraged us to not be silent in the face of injustice, thereby showing us that we are the actualisers of a law that would otherwise, in the absence of our action, only remain in books. Seeing my friend noting down the points carefully, I also did that; more in my mind than the notepad.

The session that followed a tea break was by gynecologist Dr Shaliya James, who made us aware of our own bodies, especially about the female reproductive system and the problems that women generally encounter. We were also guided on how to use menstrual cups (that each of us were gifted for participating in the workshop). She devoted special time for clearing our doubts.

All the sessions had interpreters for the students of NISH who used sign language. It was wondersome to watch their interactions. On every occasion where I have got the chance to meet people with varied “physical challenges”, I have had to expand my own perspective to see how beautiful the world is, even with all these imperfections or may be to even state that these imperfections are what makes the world perfect. And I gladly put myself among these imperfections.

After a well-served lunch, there was a fun activity. We were asked to go around the beautiful place and then draw a tree with symbolic meaning; the roots of the tree were to represent our values, the trunk was meant for the support we get in our life, branches denoted our skills and finally our dreams to be depicted through the leaves. Being a person who enjoys artwork, I held onto the chart paper and sketch pens that they provided, like a small kid. After lavishly enjoying the greenery, most of us settled to draw our trees.

The afternoon session which began with a group photo, was conducted outdoors. As opposed to the hall, being outside was equally refreshing for everyone. By this time a special guest had joined us too. She patiently waited amidst us, while each of us explained our trees, some green and leafy while others were dry with scarce leaves but all having lot of meaning. While most of us were shy to talk about our trees, this guest was keenly listening to all of the participants and taking special note of their pictures and she did this while lying on her stretcher. This special guest was Sarasu Thomas, who at a very young age, became paralysed below the neck, from polio. Even then, using the fingers that she can move, she writes, stitches and even draws. She even got State Government award for best author. Using a combination of her life experiences, examples from nature and even short stories, she stimulated us from within, to see ourselves as having potential to rise up higher from the depths of our disabilities and turn them into fascinating instruments.

As the day got over and I returned home, leaving the door of my heart wide open for more such opportunities to transform me from within.

If you liked this, you may want to read another blog by Nincy: Letting the paint brush find its way

The Hidden World of Women Caregivers

Krishnaraj Nambiar, Pallium India Volunteer and FOMAA Project Team Member, writes:

Her aged husband has been paralysed following a Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA). A second tragedy followed, when she lost her young son who was her only support.

Her husband is a paraplegic. She sets an alarm at night to turn him in bed every two hours so that he doesn’t get bed sores.

She lives alone with her husband who is a heart patient and less mobile following a spinal injury. She has to leave her house at 5 a.m. to support her ailing husband to run her tea shop.

Her son (aged 34) and daughter (aged 36) are completely bedridden since the last 30 years. Her husband is a coolie.

These were the stories of four women caregivers that were presented in the documentary titled “Support-A different story” by Ms.Beena Paul and Ms.Raakhee, at the workshop on the ‘Hidden World of Women Care Givers’, organized by Women’s wing of Federation of Malayalees Association of Americas (FOMAA) and Pallium India, on 3 December, 2018 at Mannam memorial Hall, Trivandrum. About 50 care givers and a few of their family members, as well as Pallium India’s volunteers and invited guests from various fields attended the workshop.

Ms. Mangala Francis, Pallium India’s volunteer and coordinator of the FOMAA project, who welcomed the participants explained that the objective of the workshop was to bring together women care givers associated with Pallium India, provide them with a forum, listen to the challenges they face and acknowledge their contribution.

Pallium India, with the funds from FOMAA, provides support to women caregivers to start income generation activities. The workshop was part of Pallium India’s efforts to systematise its work with women caregivers and create awareness about the hidden world of women caregivers who globally account for 80% of all caregivers.

Following the documentary screening, Ashla Rani reflected on her experience as a person receiving care, especially from her mother. Ashla appealed for recognition of care givers, particularly women, whose services are unacknowledged. Ms. Reshmi spoke as a care giver and highlighted the travails faced by women in providing care and working to earn an income to run the family.

The next segment included a panel. Ms.Sonia George from the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) described the work of SEWA for the protection of rights of self-employed women. She stressed that women care givers should come together to break their isolation and should consider their problems as a social issue. Dr. Sreedevi from Pallium India, based on her daily experience in dealing with care givers, said that the role played by women care givers are taken as normal and no one acknowledges their immense sacrifice. She suggested that assistance should be provided to women care givers to enable them to take a break from their routine. Ms. Asha from Kerala Mahila Samakhya Society spoke about her work with marginalised women particularly with regard to violence faced by them and how this workshop has made her reflect about the issue of women care givers. Ms.Asha Nair from the Women’s Development Corporation (WDC) explained various schemes conducted by WDC and promised to include women care givers in their projects and programmes.

The panel presentation was followed by an open discussion moderated by Ms. Jyothi Krishnan (Independent researcher/consultant). Several women caregivers narrated their experiences, some were choking with emotion as they spoke and the audience were overwhelmed by their ordeal. A few also requested help to start a grocery, buy a sewing machine etc. Dr.Sulochana, former Professor from the Kerala Agricultural College, shared information about her NGO named ADISHA which is providing training to women to grow vegetables and mushroom cultivation.

Ms. Jyothi summarised the main points made by the panellists and the interventions from the participants. She said that there must be dissemination of information to the beneficiaries of their entitlements in various government schemes. She was sceptical if a role reversal would take place in society of men sharing the woman’s burden and added that it was society’s responsibility to ensure that happens. The main message she conveyed was regarding the need for providing not just material support to women caregivers but ensuring that the society acknowledges their role and contribution. She also reaffirmed a suggestion made from the floor for conducting a systematic study of problems faced by women care givers and the role of various governmental and non-governmental agencies in mitigating them.

The workshop was also attended by Mr.Jain Kannanchamparambil, Joint Treasurer of FOMAA . He appreciated the efforts made by Pallium India to support women care givers and the organization of the workshop on the subject.

The session ended with a vote of thanks from Lijimol of Pallium India. The workshop was compered by Ms. Shobana Kumari, a Pallium India volunteer.

How to provide care for the caregiver

Caregivers are the ‘unseen martyrs’. In the case of people requiring long-term care — be it bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s, stroke, palsy, autism, or even old age — the duties we expect nurses to perform often fall on the shoulders of family members.

In India, it’s particularly harsh on women, as daughters-in-law are expected to care for the family without being asked. Though people would take care of their family members, out of either love or a sense of duty, we need to recognise the level of stress the caregiver too may be under.

Read more: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/how-to-provide-care-for-the-caregiver/article25763695.ece


Art on Wheels

“Art on Wheels 2018” – a fun program of sports and cultural activities for Pallium India’s friends in wheelchair – was conducted on Dec 2 at Manaveeyam Veedhi. The event was organized by Art Faktory, Manaveeyam Cultural Corridor, Cheshire Home, All Kerala Wheelchair Rights Federation and Pallium India.

Click here to see some photos from the event: https://www.facebook.com/pg/palliumindia/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2876247979067929

 

Alappuzha Beach becomes the first differently-abled friendly beach in South India

Alappuzha is a beautiful town in Kerala that has become the first South Indian destination to have a differently-abled friendly beach. This noble initiative of turning Alappuzha Beach into a differently-abled friendly beach was launched recently on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Read More: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/travel/destinations/alappuzha-beach-becomes-the-first-differently-abled-friendly-beach-in-south-india/as66951536.cms

Pharmabiz gives attention to palliative care.

It is gratifying to see the increased attention that different arms of the health care system are giving to palliative care.

Now that palliative care is included in the national health policy, now that the opioid regulations are simplified and now that it has been accepted as a part of HIV care, let us hope that the growth curve of palliative care in the country gets steeper.

Please see the attention that Pharma industry is giving to palliative care:

Access to palliative care slow in India despite positive moves by govt to improve access to pain relief solutions

Pallium India sees palliative care not just for cancer but also for neurological, respiratory & geriatric care

Most of this is needless suffering:

“Kerala’s health index is top in the country in terms of overall health performance. But a worrying trend is casting a shadow over the state, that reveals many people are ending lives unable to cope with the illnesses they suffer from.” Read the report by The New Indian Express: In worrying trend, terminally ill people in Kerala choosing to end lives

For everyone who succeeds, how many dozens will be attempting and failing? And how many hundreds would be wishing they had the courage to try!

If only palliative care were integrated with treatment of diseases in tertiary, secondary and primary levels of care, most of such suffering could be avoided.

And it is all low-cost!

(Representational image courtesy The New Indian Express)

Help Pallium India to treat serious health-related pain and suffering

Pallium India seeks your support:

We offer patients free palliative care as well as free medicines. For families who are struggling to put food on the table, we provide food packets. We also support the education of the kids in the suffering families.

Pallium India works only on donations.

To continue our work with patients and families, and to stop their suffering, we need money. With your kind help, we will be able to save lives, educate children and prevent these families from being destroyed.

Donate Now: https://milaap.org/fundraisers/pallium-india

Please share this campaign with your friends and request them to donate to Pallium India.

National Technical Guidelines on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) Oct 2018 include chapter on Palliative Care

The palliative care movement in India had never made any really successful inroads into the HIV scene in the country. Hence, this news comes as a very welcome step forward.

Professor Dinesh Kumar, our collaborator from Anand, Gujarat, writes:

National Technical Guidelines on ART_October 2018 have been released recently. The guidelines have a dedicated chapter [Section 2, Chapter 12, 14 pages] dedicated to palliative care. This indicates increasing recognition for palliative care in the framework of existing National programmes. This will help in making palliative care services more accessible to HIV positive individual and families. It will contribute to integrating Palliative care in the healthcare system. Hope other programmes will also follow the lead.

Promising development in Bihar

Meet Mr Amal Kumar, the one person in Bihar who can scoop away a huge burden of pain and suffering in the state of Bihar.

On the 13th and 14th of December 2018, Pallium India took part in a series of meetings at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna and at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC). One major item on the agenda was an opioid availability meeting.

We were overjoyed to find the drug controller Mr Amal Kumar so positive. He was very clear about being supportive of implementation of the new amended rules. It is now up to the medical fraternity to create enough palliative care services so as to make a difference.

Thank you Mr Amal Kumar and all friends at AIIMS and at RCC, Patna.

‘Pratheeksha’ get-together at Magic Planet


Every year in December, “Pratheeksha” SAT Pediatric Palliative Care Clinic, Pediatric Neurology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department and Pallium India organize an annual get-together for children receiving care, and their families. This year, on December 8, a fun-filled visit was arranged to Magic Planet, the magic-themed park at Trivandrum, as part of the clinic’s 7th anniversary celebrations.

Pratheeksha clinic takes care of children with life-limiting health conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, developmental delay, chronic kidney disease and juvenile arthritis.

For more photos from the event, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/palliumindia/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2887216007971126

‘Hippocratic’ screened at World Congress on Bioethics

14th World Congress on Bioethics opened at St John’s Medical College, Bengaluru on 5 December 2018.

(Image: Dr Sunil K Pandya, the Bioethics pioneer of India, lighting the lamp at the opening of the congress)

The screening of “Hippocratic” was one of the features of the congress on the first day. Thank you, everyone who participated in the screening.

Sorry we did not have enough discs on sale for all who asked for it. If you would like a disc, please write to vyshnavi@palliumindia.org if you want it within India. For anyone outside India, please visit http://hippocraticfilm.com/see-the-film/

Ashla, Liji and Vrinda win first prize

Congratulations to Ashla Rani, Liji MPH and Vrinda MSW – it is not a small achievement to win the first prize for the best presentation, under the theme “Rehabilitation of persons with disabilities: Vocational Employment and Placement” at the 6th annual national seminar organized by Centre of Excellence for Disability Studies, at Thiruvananthapuram on 4th December 2018.

But even more importantly, congratulations to you for all that you have done to transform so many lives so miraculously. The casual reader may not realise what an amazing difference you have made to so many human lives.

One year fellowship in Geriatrics at Manipal

Manipal Academy of Higher Education has announced a one-year Fellowship in Geriatrics aimed to produce internists with specialty training in the field of Geriatric Medicine. The course aims to attract future healthcare leaders in the field of Clinical Geriatrics.

The Fellowship in Geriatrics will be a 12 month program to be held at Kasturba Medical college, Mangalore. The course aims to provide hands on training to enable the Fellow to provide comprehensive and interdisciplinary health care and rehabilitation of the older adult and carry out research in the field of Geriatrics.

Click to know more: https://manipal.edu/kmc-mangalore/programs/program-list/diabetes-care-training-program.html

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Sheetal Raj M.

M.D.( Gen Medicine) ; PGDGM( IGNOU) ; Advanced Training In Geriatrics ( M.A.H.E)

Associate Professor in Medicine & Program Director – Geriatric Medicine Fellowship,

Kasturba Medical College, Attavar, Mangalore-575001

Karnataka.

Email id : sheetal.raj@manipal.edu

What a great gift!


These are students from Mokeri higher secondary School at Koothuparamba in northern Kerala. This picture was taken during the concluding session of a 3-day camp of National Service Scheme (NSS). They had got together to felicitate seven heroines amongst them.

What did the heroines do?

They sacrificed the tresses of their long hair and donated them to make wigs for patients who lost their hair from chemotherapy in Malabar Cancer Centre. Wigs are so expensive; those women could never have afforded to buy them to make themselves presentable.

These heroines restore our faith in humanity.

Class 7 Dropout From Kerala is Now Feeding Hundreds of Patients.

In the afternoons, Thomas and his group of volunteers set out to provide around 5,000 packets of homemade food to the patients and visitors of three different hospitals in Kottayam, followed by tea, as well as dinner.

Sitting and chatting and giving words of comfort to over 200 people has become a routine for him. These words of comfort have become a source of joy for them.

The love that the people of Kottayam have for him goes a long way.

Read more: https://www.thebetterindia.com/164674/navajeevan-trust-kerala-kottayam-help/

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.

Upcoming Events

  • Jan 15, 2019: Kerala Palliative Care Day.
  • Jan 24-25, 2019: International Conference on HealthCare in the Elderly at Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore. Contact: Dr. Sania Saood: 9663277984, Ms. Freeda D’Souza : 8978974013, Email : cencops.kmc.mlr@gmail.com
  • Feb 8, 9, 10, 2019: The 26th International Conference of Indian Association of Palliative Care – IAPCONKochi2019 – will be held on 8th, 9th and 10th February 2019 (with a Pre-Conference Workshop on 7th February 2019) at AELI Hills, Ernakulam, Kerala, India. Conference website: http://www.iapconkochi2019.com/
  • Mar 4, 2019: 6 weeks certificate course in palliative medicine and nursing (CCPPM, CCPN) at Trivandrum. Register: http://palliumindia.org/courses/ Contact: education@palliumindia.org / 8589998760. Last date to apply: Feb 18, 2019
  • Apr 26-28, 2019: Three day volunteer training program in Trivandrum including home visits. Contact: info@palliumindia.org
  • May 1, 2019: 10-day Foundation course in palliative medicine, at Trivandrum. Register: https://palliumindia.org/courses/ Contact: education@palliumindia.org
  • June 3, 2019: 6 weeks certificate course in palliative medicine and nursing (CCPPM, CCPN) at Trivandrum. Register: http://palliumindia.org/courses/ Contact: education@palliumindia.org / 8589998760.

Have Queries? Contact: info@palliumindia.org.

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

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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 5 p.m., except on Sundays and National holidays) 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: Pallium India Trust, VP 80/13, Golden Hills, Venkode P.O., Vattappara, Thiruvananthapuram 695028

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

PARTING SHOT

Sobhana’s gift

It was Pallium India’s good fortune to be present at the opening of the new building of a successful palliative care centre.

See Sobhana’ broad smile? She has reason to be pleased with herself. She donated the land for construction a new home for Sanjeevani Charitable Trust in Taliparamba in northern Kerala.

There is one more invisible person in the photograph. One who never appeared in public and does not want his name mentioned. That was an anonymous donor who funded the whole construction.

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