Published on: May 26, 2023

A 5-day training programme on capacity building in palliative care in TB under the iDEFEAT TB project by The Union (International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease) was held at the Government Hospital of Thoracic Medicine (GHTM) Tambaram Chennai (TN) from 15th to 19th May, 2023 with Pallium India as their Education & Training Partner.

Integrating Palliative Care into Tuberculosis treatment

Gracing the inauguration of this first of its kind initiative were Dr Gowri Sen Gupta (Deputy Director General, Mental Health, Elderly Care & Palliative Care, MoHFW India), Dr P M Ramesh (Medical superintendent), Dr Suma Shivkumar (NTEP Consultant, WHO), Dr Rakesh PS (Senior Technical Advisor, The Union), Dr Amar Shah (Senior TB Advisor, USAID, India) and Dr Asha Frederick( State TB Officer, Tamil Nadu). The need for a scientifically structured humane approach for people suffering from DR-TB was echoed by all dignitaries. They also extended their full support for further such training programs which will ensure continuity of integration of the palliative care approach.

The program started with an introduction to the concept of serious health-related suffering and palliative care by Dr Deepak Sudhakaran (Specialist, Community Medicine & Palliative Care, Pallium India) who reminded the attendees the need to not just look at the ‘patient’ but also to the ‘person’ having the disease. He was joined by Dr Rajam Iyer (Consultant Pulmonologist & Palliative Care, Bhatia Hospital & Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai) who brought out the relevance of palliative care in respiratory medicine.

Dr VV Meenakshi (Consultant, Palliative Medicine, Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai), Dr Mallika Tiruvadanam (Founder, Lakshmi Pain and Palliative Care Trust, Chennai), Ms Vijayalakshmi (Consultant, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Counsellor Lakshmi Pain & Palliative Care Trust, Chennai), Dr Jenifer Jeba (Professor of Palliative Medicine, CMC, Vellore), Dr Sreedevi Warrier (Head, Education & Skill Building, Pallium India) also shared their learnings, experience and expertise with the participants.

This training program was yet another example of what public-private partnership can achieve to educate more health care personnel for the betterment of health CARE delivery.

Some reflections from participants:
“The sessions were interactive and we were all able to express our thoughts.”
“We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation for the capacity building session on palliative care that you have organised. The quality of the presentations, the expertise of the speakers, and the overall organisation of the event were truly commendable. We found each session to be an eye opener and thought-provoking . We would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the entire program.”
“The programme has sensitised us on the current views and ideas of palliative care. I learned ‘It is needless to die with pain’. Every person who dies of chronic illness that couldn’t be cured can be cared enough for a dignified calm pain-free last time of the life.”

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