On World Hospice and Palliative Day 2023, organizations, medical professionals, and volunteers across India came together to celebrate the spirit of compassionate care and highlight the importance of palliative services. The day, observed on the second Saturday of October every year, saw a series of events in different regions of the country, aimed to create awareness, educate and engage communities in discussions around palliative care and the support it provides to individuals and their families during challenging times. Let’s take a closer look at the key programs that unfolded on this significant day.
Pallium India, in collaboration with Institute of Hospital Management and Catering Technology (IHMCT), Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, celebrated World Hospice and Palliative Care Day on 14th October with a get-together of patients and family members.
The program was inaugurated by Dr M R Rajagopal (Chairman Emeritus, Pallium India), in the presence of Mr Binod Hariharan (Chairman, Pallium India), Dr M M Sunil Kumar (Additional Director, Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences) and Mr K Rajshekhar (Principal, IHMCT), as well as Pallium India’s beneficiaries, family members, staff and volunteers.
Online Webinar for Maharashtra, NHM
Maharashtra NHM took a significant step towards promoting palliative care by organising an online webinar in collaboration with Pallium India. The event, held on October 6th, 2023, witnessed the participation of 300 individuals. It served as a platform for the government healthcare professionals to discuss the importance of palliative care, share best practices, and explore ways to integrate palliative services into the healthcare system more effectively.
Gilly Burn’s Session in Gangaram Hospital, Delhi
On October 13th, 2023, the renowned Gilly Burn conducted an enlightening session at Gangaram Hospital in Delhi. Her expertise and insights added value to the day’s celebrations by emphasizing the need for holistic and compassionate care. The session encouraged healthcare professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills in palliative care, thus benefiting their patients and their families.
Gilly Burn’s Session with Guwahati Pain & Palliative Care Society
Gilly Burn continued her impactful journey on October 13th by conducting another session, this time in collaboration with the Guwahati Pain & Palliative Care Society in Guwahati. Her sessions have been instrumental in spreading awareness and knowledge about palliative care, touching the lives of healthcare professionals and caregivers who are committed to making a difference.
SEEDS Week-Long Celebration in Tenkasi, Tamil Nadu
The week-long celebration organized by SEEDS in Tenkasi, Tamil Nadu, from October 9th to October 14th, 2023, was a commendable effort. This event provided the local community with a comprehensive understanding of palliative care and its relevance in their lives. Activities throughout the week included awareness drives, medical camps, workshops, and interactive sessions. These activities fostered a supportive environment and encouraged people to seek palliative care when needed.
Gilly Burn’s Sessions in Collaboration with Assam Cancer Care Foundation
On October 14th, Gilly Burn conducted sessions at Barpeta Medical College, Barpeta, Guwahati, in collaboration with the Assam Cancer Care Foundation. These sessions aimed to equip medical professionals with the necessary skills to provide quality palliative care to ailing patients, emphasizing the importance of addressing both the physical and emotional aspects of the disease.
Eastern India Palliative Care (EIPC) in collaboration with Pallium India celebrated WHPCD
On October 14th, Pallium India and the Eastern India Palliative Care (EIPC) hosted a culturally rich celebration at their Barrackpore office. This event, coinciding with Mahalaya, a significant day for Bengalees, featured a variety of performances, including dances, songs, and recitations by both staff and patients. Handmade cards with motivational Bengali phrases were given to patients, along with heartfelt gifts as tokens of love and support. Patients were encouraged to share their thoughts on topics like staying well and personal preferences. A total of 17 patients, 15 caregivers, and 29 staff members participated in this event, which was graced by Shriya Singh, Head of Resource Mobilization with Pallium India, Trivandrum. This celebration beautifully blended cultural significance with the essence of palliative care.
World Hospice and Palliative Day 2023 saw an array of events and programs that spanned different regions of India. These initiatives served as a reminder of the critical role that palliative care plays in ensuring the well-being of individuals facing life-limiting illnesses. From webinars and educational sessions to week-long celebrations, the day left an important mark on the journey towards creating a more compassionate and supportive healthcare system in the country.
(Report prepared by Dr Jatin Bhukal, Regional Facilitator, Pallium India.)