Rontu Sangma, Regional Coordinator NE, State Facilitation Team, Pallium India, writes:
Manipur has a total population of about 28 lakhs and statistics show that for every one lakh population, about 350 persons need palliative care. Manipur, therefore, has nearly 10,000 patients who currently require palliative care, with the numbers only projected to grow in the future. It is promising to see that the palliative network in Manipur is growing fast.
The Palliative Care Society Imphal (PCSI) is the first non-governmental organization to initiate palliative care in Manipur in 2015, under the leadership of Dr.Jugindra who got trained in Kerala. Under the effective, thoughtful and keen leadership of Dr.Jugindra, Palliative Care Society of Imphal could even organise an international conference on palliation with delegates from across the globe, which is still a distant dream for many big states.
Palliative care services are also offered at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) and Shija Academy of Health Sciences.
There are a total of 16 districts in Manipur. According to the National Program for Palliative Care, Manipur, the State palliative care cell was formed in 2017 and nine districts have been approved for palliative care services (2018-19).
Shalini AJ and Rontu Sangma from State Facilitation Team of Pallium India, reached Manipur on 15th November 2021 and visited the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) to meet the NPPC Nodal Officer Dr.L Tilakeswari Devi and the Drug Controller Mr.N Rimotkumar Meetei. We met Dr.Jugindra Sorokhaibam, Dr.Subodha Ningthoukhongjam and Dr.Nandan Choudhary at Shija Hospital. We could also visit Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) to meet few doctors and met Dr.Rakesh Nongthombam, Asst. Professor of JNIMS over a dinner meeting (he invited us).
We also had the opportunity to visit one of the Health and Wellness Centres (HWC) in Awang Wabagai, Imphal West, where we met the CHO, Ms.Maibam Ranita Devi.
(In the photograph, you see the CHO, second from left, along with her team of ASHAs and Pallium team Shalini AJ & Rontu Sangma.)
The HWC have been established by the National Health Mission where OPD and home care palliative care services are being offered.
Opioids are available in a few of the Health and Wellness Centres (HWC) and at most of the district hospitals. The community health officer’s at the HWC’s make a referral to either the RIMS palliative care clinic or Palliative Care Society, Imphal, for opioid prescription.
In 2020, The National Health Mission, Manipur, issued a directive for doctors, staff nurses, social workers, and paramedical staff to undergo weekly online training in basic palliative care. This training was attended by over 300 health care professionals and was offered by Pallium India in collaboration with Pallicovid, Kerala.
There are activities underway to begin a dedicated palliative medicine department at the Shija Academy of Health Sciences.
For palliative care centres in Manipur, please visit: https://palliumindia.org/clinics/manipur