Published on: June 1, 2019

Pallium India participates in the European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC) conference in Berlin

“Global Palliative Care – Shaping the Future” was the theme of the annual conference of EAPC in Berlin from 23-25 May 2019.

It was a complete conference. It had everything, enough from the past, and looking way forward into the future. It had something for everybody, professionals,volunteers, researchers and students.

Pallium India’s chairman, Dr M R Rajagopal, delivered the Floriani lecture instituted by the Floriani Foundation – an organization created by the late Ms Loredana Floriani. Earlier, EAPC had posted an overview of the lecture: Access to palliative care and pain relief – an imperative of Universal Health Coverage

We thank the Floriani foundation, Dr Philip Larkin, the president of EAPC and Dr Sebastien Moine and Dr Anne Letsch, the conference co-chairs for a great conference and for the privilege of being part of it.

Compassionate communities stand out at European Association of Palliative Care (EAPC) Conference in Berlin

It is so gratifying. The government of Germany took the initiative to organise an one-day conference on community participation in palliative care as part of the EAPC conference in Berlin.

The theme had come up several times during the conference. It was gratifying to see that Compassionate communities are evolving in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, UK and elsewhere not to mention the much-admired Kerala model in India.

Pallium India’s Ashla Rani’s poster was among those displayed on that day, explaining what volunteering meant to her. (Click on the image to enlarge)

Legislation on ECHO educational program in US Senate:

Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) is an online educational program gifted to the world by Dr Sanjeev Arora and team at Albuquerque, USA. Pallium India regularly conducts ECHO programs with the support of ECHO India and ECHO Institute team.

Dr Sanjeev Arora writes:

I’m excited to share the news that new legislation has been introduced in the United States Senate, the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act of 2019!

The legislation builds on the original ECHO Act of 2016 and the corresponding report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released in March of this year.

The bi-partisan measure would direct HHS to establish a grant program to evaluate, develop and expand the use of technology-enabled collaborative learning and capacity building models like Project ECHO in the U.S. You can read more about the legislation in a press release and fact sheet developed by the bill’s sponsors.

We believe this is a significant next step in an ongoing effort across our movement to work with policymakers in Congress, the Administration and in states around the country to ultimately fully integrate the ECHO model into the U.S. health care system.

We are grateful to our supporters in the Congress for their leadership, and we look forward to working side-by-side with all our ECHO partners to move this conversation forward. We will share more soon on how we can collectively advance this effort.


* Image courtesy: Wikipedia

All pain, no gain: India’s own opioid crisis

Five years after the NDPS Act of May 2014, opioids like oral morphine remain inaccessible for 98% of the population of India.

Tanvi Joshi explores the reasons in her article in the Ken: All pain, no gain: India’s own opioid crisis


Talking about death and dying: SynTalk

Is every dying person also a living person?

Could grieving turn into a disease?

How ‘complicated’ can grief be?

Do people who deny death often have horrible ends?

Does suffering cease to be suffering when it has meaning?

Are you good at saying ‘final’ goodbyes?

Here is a discussion on these and many other questions related to dying. Listen to this SynTalk – short for Synthesis Talk – a concept developed and realised by an amazing couple from Mumbai, Rajat and Jyothi.

In this talk, titled “The Last Few Days” Abodh Aras, an animal lover and CEO of “Welfare of Stray Dogs”, Dr Santosh Chaturvedi, professor of psychiatry from NIMHANS and Dr M. R. Rajagopal, chairman of Pallium India talk to Rajat on 11 May 2019.

For all SynTalk episodes, click here:

Video of the Month

TEN News interviews Dr L J De Souza, founder of India’s first hospice, “Shanti Avedna Sadan”




WHPCA – Pallium India Collaboration: Project Aarohan (online)

Aarohan – Empowering the voices of those who suffer

With generous support from the Worldwide Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA) and ECHO International (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), Pallium India is pleased to launch a new project called “Aarohan”.

Through Aarohan, we aim to strengthen the voice of direct palliative care beneficiaries (i.e: people and caregivers who are currently living with conditions that require palliative care now or may require it in the future), and improve their impact as advocates to improve access to quality palliative care in their communities.

Classes Scheduled: 16 Sessions

Start Date: 22 June 2019

End Date : 05 October 2019

Day of the week: Saturdays

Class Timing: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM (IST)

How to apply

Download the application form, fill it up and send it to

Contact us at +91-6282902450 or

Click here for more information

Online Foundation Course in Palliative Medicine (for doctors)

The Objective of the Online Foundation Course in Palliative Medicine is to train healthcare professionals in pain management and palliative care.

To ensure adequate interaction during sessions, we will have to limit the number of participants at each course on a first-come, first-served basis. So register quickly!


M.B.B.S or B.D.S with permanent registration with medical council.

Class Details

Classes Scheduled: 18 Sessions
Start Date: 04 July 2019
End Date: 31 Oct 2019
Day of the week: Thursdays
Class Timing: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

How to apply

Download the application form, fill it up and send it to

Contact us at +91-6282902450 or

Click here for more information

Online course in Palliative Care for Psychosocial Clinicians

We are delighted to announce the virtual ECHO programme for Psychosocial clinicians and Allied Health Workers.

While the modules are most suited for Medical Social Workers and Mental Health professionals, anyone associated with palliative care would stand to benefit from the topics being covered.


Master in Social Work (MSW), Degree in Psychology, Degree in Occupational Therapy, Degree in Counseling, Degree in Physiotherapy

Class Details

Classes Scheduled: 30 Sessions
Start Date: 21 June 2019
End Date: 24 January 2020
Day of the week: Every Friday
Class Timing: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

How to apply

Download the application form, fill it up and send it to

Contact us at +91-6282902450 /

Click here for more information

Palliative Care Always course



Ms Vanessa Damania from Tata Trusts writes to inform us of “Palliative Care Always: India”, a case-based online course free of cost, focusing on palliative care in India.

Please see the brochure (Click on the image to enlarge).

For more information, visit:



Compassionate Community for Care – Campaign


Please join us in making this world a better place!

Pallium India invites communities – residents’ associations, welfare groups, pensioners’ associations, senior citizens’ clubs, youth clubs etc. to join us in our

“Campaign on Compassionate Communities for care”

– To foster a future generation that is socially responsible and sensitive to the needs of the destitute and the weak
– To create community awareness regarding palliative care and to mobilize community support
– To ensure continuum of support to the victims of needless and severe health related suffering.
– To create a network and generate a platform for people to come together and work towards this cause
– and more…

Babu Abraham, Manager – Advocacy: +91-9746745502 /

Vacancy for Palliative Care Physician & Nurse at Dilasa, Goa

Organization: DILASA

Job Title: Palliative care Physician (vacancy: 1) and Palliative care nurse (vacancy: 2)

Nature of Job: Permanent – Full Time

Location: DILASA center for terminally ill, IMA Ponda Charitable Trust, Donshiwado, Ponda, GOA, 403401

Essential Qualification:
Doctors – MBBS from recognized university
Nurses – BSc/GNM from recognized university

Desired Qualification:
Doctor – Six weeks’ training in pain and palliative medicine with one year experience in palliative care
Nurses – Six weeks’ certificate course in Palliative Nursing with one year experience.

Experience: 1 year and above

Last Date to Apply: June 5, 2019


How to apply: Interested candidates please send detailed and updated CV to

For more details, contact

Dr.Vallabh Dhaimodker, IMA Ponda Charitable Trust: 08322335018, 7507272921


10 day foundation course conducted in Goa

“Our approach to the patients has changed after attending this training. Through this training, we got answers to many of our dilemmas to further help patients.” (Dr. Ajay, IMA Ponda Trust Vice President and a busy senior clinician)

“Every MS or MD should undergo this training to know what should be the future of their practice.” (Dr. Govind, ENT Consultant, North Goa District Hospital).

“My whole attitude towards my patients is going to change after attending this training.” (Nurse Lisma, South Goa District Hospital)

“This course opened our eyes to other aspects of medical care, like psycho-social and spiritual care. Earlier we were only looking at the treatment and curative aspect. I would be sharing this knowledge with others and also putting into practice myself.” (Dr. Shefalee, Junior Resident, Goa Medical College).

These were some of the responses to a 10 day foundation course in palliative care in Goa conducted jointly by IMA Ponda, Dilasa Palliative Care and Pallium India.

Dr. Vallabh Dhaimodkar, Secretary IMA Ponda Trust, has been instrumental in making this collaboration a reality. This should be a great preparation for a promising palliative care activity in Goa!

The senior doctors from IMA Ponda Trust and other institutes in Goa showed commitment to learning like young post-graduate students, doing double shifts – attending training the whole day and then attending to the patients at their clinics in the evening. The younger doctors, nurses and volunteers shared the sincerity and compassion of the seniors. Their entire focus was on learning and improving their patient care. It was one of the best onsite trainings where along with classroom sessions, we had numerous patient discussions, home visits, visits to the old age homes and visits to two big government hospitals – Goa Medical College and Hospicio South Goa District Hospital.

The availability of best possible faculty – Dr.Rukmini Lobo, Dr.Priya Kulkarni (Pune), Dr.Vidya Viswanath (Vishakhapatnam), Ms Stella (IPM, Calicut), Dr.Sheetal Raj (Mangalore) and Ms Sophia (Pharmacy faculty, Mangalore) made learning so pleasurable.

For the first time we had a pharmacist faculty, Sophia, who enriched the sessions with her intricate knowledge of medicines. Ayana was the cherry on the cake. With her soft demeanour and in depth knowledge of palliative care training, she won everyone’s heart! And we were all strung together for ten days by the love and warmth of the organisers which completely floored all of us…making it a real memorable experience!

“Nursing the Person: In Mind, Body and Spirit”

Celebrating International Nurses’ Day Online – Integrating palliative care in all nursing care

“It was indeed afruitful session and thrilling experience.Please do let me know if you organize any such sessions or training infuture. I would be glad to take part in it.” – Sr Anna Daniel (Anand, Gujarat)

“Thanks a lot for giving this opportunity to understand more about palliative medicine” – Mr. Dirk Dlima (PALCARE, Maharashtra)

“It was a wonderful experience.” – Mr. Vyas Nilamani and Sr. Min Madhavi (G G Govt Hospital, Jamnagar ,Gujarat)

On International Nurses Day (May 12, 2019), Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS) organized an online forum to update palliative care nurses on recent advances and to help nurses across all health care fields to integrate principles of palliative care.

The event brought nurses across the nation in one virtual platform to meet and share their experiences related to palliative care. We had participants from far west in Gujarat to the Assam in the North-east, and from Jammu & Kashmir up North to the southern tip in Tamil Nadu covering around 14 states and 2 UTs. Thank you, Dr Sanjeev Arora, and all at ECHO International and at ECHO India, for giving us the ECHO platform which enabled us to bring our country’s nurses together to share their warmth and experience on palliative care.

42 nurses involved in palliative care delivery attended the program. Some brought their friends from other fields in nursing. It started off with an introduction by Dr. M R Rajagopal on “Palliative Care in India & nurses” where he enumerated the various policies at national level, the past, present and future aspects of palliative nursing. Sr. Anna Daniel Rao spoke about the role of nurses in palliative care. Sr. Sandra Lywait and Sr. Rajni shared their experience as palliative care nurses. The session created an arena in which the nurses could come up with new ideas and think together to strengthen palliative care nursing as part of health care.

The project officers, nurses and the rest of the Pallium India team got together to make a success of this brainchild of our CEO, Mr. G. S. Manoj.

Ideas to improve on the program and to carry it forward are welcome. Please write to

Palliative care nurses in Trivandrum get together on International Nurses’ Day

Trivandrum Initiative in Palliative Care (TIPC) joined hands with National Health Mission and Pallium India to bring palliative care nurses in Trivandrum together on International Nurses’ Day, 12 May 2019.

The Programme was inaugurated by Deputy Mayor Adv. Rakhi Ravi Kumar in the presence of Dr. Johnson M.P (President, TIPC), Mr. Sreekumar (Secretory, IAPC Kerala) and Mr. Vijayakumaran Nair (Patron, TIPC). About 40 Palliative nurses from various institutions in Trivandrum attended the program. Dr. Sunil Kumar M. M (Additional Director, TIPS), Dr. Fr. Dave Akkara (Psychiatry, Trivandrum Medical College) and Dr. Vinod (Urologist, Trivandrum) formed the faculty and clarified the participant’s doubts. This was followed by a group discussion based on patient stories.

The participants’ enthusiasm was clear in their demand that they wanted this program to continue every month.

Hippocratic wins Humanitarian award at Global Independent Film Awards

Moonshine Agency‘s feature film “Hippocratic – 18 experiments in gently shaking the world” has won 3 awards at this year’s Global Independent Film Awards including the Gold Medal Humanitarian Award (Hippocratic / M.R Rajagopal), Silver Medal Best Documentary Feature (Hippocratic / Mike Hill/ Sue Collins – Moonshine) and Silver Medal for Best Editing (Alex Archer).

Congratulations, Mike Hill, Sue Collins, Alex Archer and everyone at Moonshine Agency for this recognition!

To watch Hippocratic, visit

Palliative Care in Paris : Where they need it, when they need it

It was a great experience to interact with two institutions in Paris and to see the potential for hospice as an institution and hospice-at-home to work together to provide optimal palliative care to people where they want to be. Jeanne Garnier is a well-established home of compassion in Paris – excellent ambience, optimal facilities, the combination of everything that people need for a peaceful time in the evening of their lives.

We met up with Dr Benedicte Denoyel, François Génin and colleagues at Visitatio, which is a volunteer-led home based service – inspired by Kerala’s neighborhood network of palliative care. What great commitment, what enthusiasm!

And it was good to speak at a conference organized by Visitatio and to interact with a team at Jeanne Garnier hospice and to feel the prospects of two organizations working together. Their work could be so complementary to each other – somebody treated by Visitatio easily getting connected to Jeanne Garnier when in-house treatment is necessary and Visitatio taking over for compassionate care at home when the patient gets discharged from the hospice.

Visitatio has challenges, naturally . They are only 2 years old and acceptance by the government’s health care system is yet to happen. But judging by the enthusiasm of the team, we have no doubt that they will grow, and they will overcome.

Thank you Dr Benedicte Denoyel and Mr François Génin for the kind invitation to be part of your work. Best wishes Visitatio & Best wishes Jeanne Garnier!

Mr Rajeev Sadanandan IAS bids farewell to Kerala

The head of the executive in Government of Kerala, Mr Rajeev Sadanandan IAS, retires from Government of Kerala.

The achievements in the field of Health in Kerala during his tenure were many, as part of the team with the Health Minister of Kerala, Smt. Shailaja Teacher. His role has been phenomenal in the dramatic improvements in the Government’s primary health care, the control of the Nipah outbreak, and the superb handling of the recent floods in the state.

Seen here during the farewell on 30 May 2019, Mr Rajeev Sadanandan is flanked by the finance minister Mr Thomas Isaac (right) and the health minister. Also seen in the picture (left) is Dr B. Ekbal, member of the State Planning Board and former vice chancellor of the Kerala University.

Dr Rajan Khobragade IAS takes over the leadership of the department of Health in his place. Dr Khobragade was one of the chief architects of the Palliative Care Policy of the Government of Kerala which was declared in 2008.

A Good Life And A Good Death: What Is Palliative Care?

Read this interview with Dr Sunita Puri:

Ajikumar’s story

Aji Kumar, who hails from Kattakada in Trivandrum, became a paraplegic 17 years ago at the age of 22 after a fall from a tree that resulted in a spinal injury. He was totally disabled initially, but his situation improved to being a paraplegic following treatment and yoga. He now travels on a three wheeler (for persons with disabilities).

Aji is a self-made and a never-say-die person. As a boy, he had learnt the skill of making umbrellas and footwear from his father. Since then he also learned to make disinfectants, soaps, school bags/back packs, arte crafts, paper bags, paper pens, paintings etc., and these have become his sources of income, his mainstay being umbrellas. He also imparts training to others including paraplegics like him in these activities and is called by educational and other institutions to teach these arts. Aji was under the care of Pallium India for a while who also helped rehabilitate him. He has been featured in print and social media several times.

Sathi Fund, a ‘not for profit’ organization based in Denver, Colorado, USA, has been engaged in empowering grassroots entrepreneurs across the world to pursue sustainable, locally driven solutions to the challenges facing their communities by providing them seed grants. These grants target small-scale entrepreneurial activities with the promise to yield long-term returns in the local community. In a tie up with Pallium India, Aji Kumar has been chosen as a beneficiary of the fund with the responsibility of training and empowering others (differently-abled) like him in these activities to help them generate a self sustaining income and realize their goal of living with dignity and contributing to the community. He also helps them to market their products. His activity is overseen by Pallium India.

Aji Kumar has made a good start by identifying and imparting training (on 17th April 2019) in making paper pens as part of their vocational rehabilitation to 13 differently-abled inmates of Cheshire home, Trivandrum.

Aji Kumar’s story is highly inspirational and is a beacon of hope to many others like him to help them live a life of dignity and play their role in society.

Rajagiri Nurse of the year

It is heartening to see how hospitals have started acknowledging the value of palliative care. This rather new large hospital in Kochi, Rajagiri Hospital, selects a palliative care nurse for this honor! Gratifying.


Congratulations Simi Varghese and all in the palliative care team at Rajagiri hospital.


Compassionate Vasundhara – a community initiative in Delhi

Pallium India’s volunteer from Delhi, Nandini Jayaprakasan sends us this report:

Pallium India, in association with Delhi Malayalee Association (DMA) Vasundhara Enclave, organised a sensitization program on palliative care on 19th May 2019 at Community Hall, Triveni Apartments, Vasundhara Enclave. The objective of this program was to create awareness on palliative care and how a community can help those suffering from terminal illness and pain.

Mr Murali Menon, Chairman of DMA welcomed Dr. Mary Abraham and Dr. Saima Furqan on behalf of DMA, Vasundhara Enclave. Dr. Saima gave the introduction on palliative care and a brief on Pallium India’s activities. Dr. Mary Abraham (consultant, Pain and Palliative Care) enlightened the audience with an introduction to palliative care and explained how community plays a crucial role in it.

The program got full support from the DMA members, especially Smt Sreekala S Nair, Smt Dhanya Ramachandran and Smt Sujata Ishwar, who took care of arranging the venue and in mobilizing participants. Around 60 people attended the program and 15 of them offered their willingness to volunteer.

The program was very informative, and concluded with an active Q&A session. Dr. Saima delivered a vote of thanks and appreciated the efforts of DMA and welcomed all future collaboration regarding palliative care.

It was a bunch of enthusiasts with a heart to serve the ones in need and therefore an attempt to get volunteers for palliative care proved to be a successful one.

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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:
Address: Pallium India Trust, VP 80/13, Golden Hills, Venkode P.O., Vattappara, Thiruvananthapuram 695028

For more details, please visit:


A memorable trip to Chatanpara Tribal Village

Dr. Nishu, palliative care physician at Pallium India, writes:

Pallium India’s attempts to understand the health care needs of people living in tribal areas of Trivandrum led to an expedition on 7th April 2019 to Chatanpara, a small tribal village in Vithura panchayat in Trivandrum district. I was lucky to be a part of the medical camp that was held to commemorate World Health Day.

We were a group of 20 that included doctors, nurses, MSWs, admin staff and palliative care assistants. We enjoyed the scenic beauty en route the 90 min drive to our destination and reached around 10.30 a.m. Chatanpara has a small tribal settlement of about 90 houses and these tribes are called Kani tribes. The chief of the tribe called ‘Moopan’ was Echan Kani.

We set up camp in Chatanpara and split into two teams: one for outpatient service and the other to cover home care. I was in the OP team. It took personal visits by our Advocacy manager Babu Abraham to many of the hamlets to get about 20 patients to come to the OP clinic and they were attended to. Most of the ailments noticed were diabetes, hypertension and a couple of cases of cancer. We were surprised to learn that although visits by other organizations including Ayurveda hospital preceded ours, the tribals were not keen on availing these facilities. They have their own traditional medicines with which they managed their minor ailments. The patients comprised of 3 generations and each of them had their own attitude towards seeking healthcare. Whilst the older generation never ever availed health care services even for deliveries, the next generation managed their minor ailments traditionally. The new generation of school/college going youngsters were more informed and receptive to seeking health care facilities.

It struck me that tobacco was very much part of their lives especially among the older generation. Even women in their early 30s were addicted to this habit. I made them aware of the adverse effects of chewing tobacco but they have become so addicted that I doubt very much if my words had the desired effect. An old lady said she could do without food for a day but couldn’t afford to miss her tobacco.

The younger generation, on the contrary, are very well informed and try to induce the elders to kick the habit. Another factor that drew my attention was that generally they were all malnourished perhaps due to ignorance and tobacco chewing. Even a mother who had insufficient breast milk to feed her 3 month old baby didn’t know of formula feeds.

Our home care team visited about 10 houses and they had the same story to tell. It is understood that the team was assisted by 2 natives and the trek to many of the houses was ardous involving steep climb and descent, carrying our medical kits. It involved crossing a stream and guarding against bisons and elephants about which the team was warned.

Most of the families had a thatched hut as well as a proper cemented one provided by the Panchayat, but they preferred to stay in the thatched hut by day and the other one by night. I found this to be rather unique. We were also spellbound by the cleanliness within their houses. Every family had a loyal companion, their friendly dog. Almost every family grew coffee bean, mangoes, jackfruit etc. in their premises.

This trip was truly fascinating for me, rewarding and will remain etched in my memory for a long time to come.


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