“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”
– Margaret J. Wheatley
2023, by all accounts, has been a significant year. For many it has tested personal boundaries and capacity. For others it has brought tremendous change.
Humanity as a whole is being forced to contend with some big, not-so-pleasant questions, and adapt to new realities. We are witnessing events that will, without doubt, alter the course of our collective existence.
Amidst the chaos and pain afflicting the world, we would do well to remember that we can affect change within our own spheres of influence. And no matter how small, every drop of kindness adds to a Kinder Sea.
We take a brief pause here, to reflect on this past year. To measure the distance travelled. To acknowledge our fellow-travellers. To take a breath before we begin our next trip around the sun.
Click here to read some highlights of Pallium India’s journey in 2023, prepared by Smriti Rana, Head – Strategic Programs and Partnerships, with inputs from all departments of Pallium India.
20th anniversary celebration
Pallium India’s 20th anniversary celebrations were held on 15th December 2023 from 9.30 am at Hassan Marikar Hall, Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram. The ceremony was inaugurated by Dr. Divya S. Iyer (Managing Director, Vizhinjam International Seaport; Director, Solid Waste Management Project).
Dr. Sanjay Behari (Director, Srichitra Institute of Medical Sciences), Dr. MV Pillai (Professor of Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University, USA), Nishan Nisar (Model, Motivational Speaker) Dr. M. R. Rajagopal (Chairman Emeritus, Pallium India) and Binod Hariharan (Chairman, Pallium India) spoke at the occasion.
The organization’s twenty years’ journey was showcased in video form. Volunteers, link center office bearers and staff members were felicitated.
Violinist and singer Gautham Gopan, famous singer and actor Akhil, Swathi Thirunal Sangeetha Academy student Shweta Harimohan, Gopan of Flowers Channel Comedy Utsavam fame performed at the event.
This was followed by cultural performances by the staff and volunteers of Pallium India.
The complete event was streamed live on Pallium India’s Facebook page.
Faces of Pallium India across the country
Pallium India’s Regional Facilitators came together to showcase our presence across the country by donning their traditional dresses, singing the songs of their cities and dancing together for an integral Pallium India.
Shalini AJ writes: Faces of Pallium India across the country
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
On December 3, 2023, Pallium India organised an event at Shankumugham Beach, Thiruvananthapuram. Students of Social Work Department, National College, Trivandrum, performed a flash mob to promote awareness among people about disability rights and inclusion.
We Don’t Shy Away From Our Disability
“People are born with impairments; it’s society that renders them disabled. We do not shy away from our disability, we are proud,” says Dr. Satendra Singh, Professor of Physiology at the University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, and Co-chair of the International Council for Disability Inclusion in MedEd.
He emphasised the obstacles encountered by People with Disabilities (PwDs) in their everyday lives during the Samarth by Hyundai initiative, in partnership with NDTV.
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gx44sY-ckc
From the Punjab to Puducherry, Kashmir to Kerala and all stops in between!
Gilly Burn writes:
This year marks 35 years since Dr Jan Stjernsward, Chief of the Cancer and Palliative Care Unit of the WHO, asked me to undertake a ‘Needs Assessment’ for Palliative care in India.
As this was a very new concept in India, I received a mixed reception, with one centre telling me, very clearly, that I had come to the wrong place and that they had no interest in Palliative Care at that time!
How times change!
Thank you so much to Pallium India, the wonderful Coordinators and Regional Facilitators, who, by all their hard work arranging and co-ordinating the very extensive and complicated logistics of my travel, have made 2023, truly amazing for me.
Video of the Month
UNODC Side event on controlled medicines at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs
Watch the complete recording of UNODC Side event on controlled medicines at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on December 5, 2023, where the Morphine Manifesto was presented:
Click here to watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZRrddXBNrA
Subscribe to Pallium India’s youtube channel for videos related to palliative care and our activities. You can watch previous webinars and training sessions, as well as listen to caregivers, survivors and others sharing their experiences.
Morphine manifesto seeks to boost access to oral morphine
Dinesh C Sharma
A group of global, regional, and national palliative care organisations has urged governments and regulators to take steps to end the practice of pharmaceutical companies marketing sustained-release morphine and expensive opioid formulations, and to ensure the availability of generic immediate-release oral morphine for pain management.
Gain from pain: Indians need access to pain relief, but MNC opioid hawkers should not hijack the agenda
Pain relief is a crucial element of palliative care. But Big Pharma wants to make as much money from this as they can gouge out of patients. As reported in TOI, a new Morphine Manifesto, signed by global palliative care experts and organisations, has warned against global pharma companies turning their attentions to low and middle-income countries like India.
Half the world receives less than 1% of the morphine available. India is one of the largest producers and exporters of opium, supplies most of the morphine, but gets only about 4% of what it needs. Palliative care remains out of reach for many.
Push for expensive opioids worries palliative care experts
Palliative care associations and experts across the world have flagged the trend of pharma industry subsidies and promotions in some low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) like India making expensive opioids such as sustained release morphine or fentanyl patches available, while inexpensive and widely applicable immediate-release oral morphine remains inaccessible.
The impact of Palliative Care in Paediatrics!
“His mother told us that he waited eagerly to visit us every week. As a social officer and a member of the palliative care team, this is the best acknowledgement for me. Each time he visited us, we ensured that we made good memories together.”
Sibin Satheesh writes: https://ehospice.com/india_posts/the-impact-of-palliative-care-in-paediatrics/
Transformative Pediatric Palliative care Workshop Empowers Healthcare Professionals
Pallium India hosted a Pediatric Palliative Care Workshop on December 9th and 10th, 2023, at Child development Center (CDC) Trivandrum. The event, attended by approximately 100 people including our committed staff, proved to be a milestone in advancing the understanding and practice of pediatric palliative care. It was hosted in collaboration with Indian Academy of Pediatrics, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation and Sri Avittam Thirunal (SAT) hospital, Trivandrum.
Dr Sangeetha Suresh writes: https://palliumindia.org/2023/12/pediatric-palliative-care-workshop-tvm
Palliative care in Respiratory Medicine
Pallium India conducted an orientation session on the role of Palliative care in Respiratory Medicine, for the Pulmonologists at Chest Diseases Hospital (CDH), Trivandrum. The session was conducted in the Medical Superintendent’s room at 12:30 PM and was presided over by Dr. Rajam Iyer, a Pulmonologist practicing in Mumbai and Pallium India’s trustee.
The session was attended by 12 Pulmonologists working at CDH, including the chiefs of the Units conducting OP. The session was followed by a Q&A session where the doctors expressed their concerns as well as their readiness to refer patients with serious health related suffering, for palliative care to us. The participants said the session was an eye opener for them. The meeting concluded with a short orientation regarding the timings and frequency of our OP services at CDH.
NGOs in Aircraft Disasters: A life line of hope
Pallium India was invited by Emirates Airlines for a table top discussion on ‘NGOs in Aircraft Disasters: A life line of hope’ to discuss the vital role of NGOs during an aircraft disaster, in view of their past experience of their flight crash in 2016 and 2020 Air India crash in Calicut, where the NGOs and local people played a greater role while the airport rescue team was incapacitated due high inflow. NGOs are a valuable resource with dedicated personals who can act effectively and efficiently in time of an emergency.
Pallium India was represented by Dr Arjun Devarajan, Senior Palliative care physician and Section Head of Medical Services.
Paediatric Palliative Care O.P
Pallium India’s Paediatric Palliative care Out patient unit is open on all Saturdays at Pallium India, Paruthikkuzhy, Thiruvananthapuram
Time: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Contact: 90721 01193
Evening Special Home Care
Pallium India has started a new service, called Evening Special Home Care (ESHC) for patient care, which would be available from 2PM to 8 PM. A male nurse and a palliative care assistant constitute the team for ESHC.
The intention of ESHC is to cater to the emergency needs of patients who are registered with us, while the regular home visit team is doing scheduled visits.
If anyone you know needs palliative care support, please reach out to us: +91 964 588 4889
Walk With The Weary: Life-changing Lessons in Healthcare
“I loved this book. Dr Rajagopal, a pioneer in palliative care, adds a touch of immediacy to his writing. One sees oneself in the situations he describes. He also underscores the fact that if you are committed to doing good, you can, and will – whatever the odds. This book is an absolute must in every medical college curriculum.”
– K M Harikrishnan
Get your copy of “Walk With the Weary” (Available in Paperback and Kindle formats, globally)
Amazon IN: https://www.amazon.in/Walk-Weary-Dr-M-Rajagopal/dp/9393852448
If you have already read the book, please leave a review on the website or email it to us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit of Hamrahi Team to Snehanchal, Nagpur
Project Hamrahi team from Australia, comprising Ms Gauri Godbole and Dr Bhagyashree Malani, visited Snehaanchal Hospice and Palliative Care Centre, Nagpur, Maharashtra, from 30th September to 4th October 2023.
Hamrahi team visits Ludhiana
Project Hamrahi’s recent collaboration at Mohandai Oswal Hospital in Ludhiana, Punjab, brought a team of Australian experts, including Dr. David Brumley, Palliative Care Physician; Ms. Penelope Tuffin, Consultant Pharmacist; and Ms. Joan Ryan, Palliative Care Nurse Consultant, for a 10-day visit.
Bringing palliative care home: volunteers drive new Kingston project
“Volunteers adding life to patients’ days.”
That’s the powerful model of compassionate care at the heart of the Kingston Cares Project (KINCARES), according to Dr. Jean Mathews, a palliative care physician and Assistant Professor in Queen’s Departments of Medicine and Oncology.
Dr. Mathews is co-leading a new pilot project and research program in Kingston that trains volunteers to support patients receiving community-based palliative care services.
Right to die with dignity: Live and let die
Haryana has issued guidelines for terminally-ill patients to exercise their ‘right to die with dignity’.
The guidelines outline the process for making the choice to give up on life. Patients can exercise this right in case of severe medical conditions with no hope of recovery. The guidelines require an informed consent in writing, clearly stating when medical treatment may be withdrawn. The document should also indicate the circumstances in which medical treatment can be refused or withdrawn.
Ajay Sura lists the process in making the choice, in the Times of India: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/106242659.cms
Pain Relief: A Crucial Yet Often Inaccessible Part of Surgical Care
“I believed that I would have some pain in my leg immediately after having my hip replacement surgery and hence did not point it out to the doctor who came for rounds”, said Mr Matthew (name changed). Mr Matthew was an active 70-year-old gentleman, whose goals after surgery included being able to independently do his daily activities. This required being completely pain-free, something Mr Matthew didn’t believe was possible.
Dr. Christianez Ratna Kiruba writes: https://nivarana.org/2023/12/22/pain-relief-and-surgical-care/
Uncovering the truth behind my father’s tragic end
It was painfully apparent early in the process that my father’s body was shutting down and deteriorating. Yet, a palliative care/hospice consultation was neither discussed nor recommended. Each day, when I spoke to my sister about the need for her to request this consultation, her response was always, “I’m just going by what the doctors say.” She could not hear the message that our father was dying because it did not come from his physicians.
Dr Robin Downing writes: https://www.kevinmd.com/2023/12/uncovering-the-truth-behind-my-fathers-tragic-end.html
Cancer Aid Society International Excellence Award
Congratulations to the winners of “Cancer Aid Society International Excellence Award“. The awards will be presented during the annual conference of Indian Association Of Palliative Care in Ahmedabad (IAPCON2024).
Dr Sunilkumar M M
Dr Sunil Kumar (Additional Director, TIPS, Pallium India) has over 20 years experience in palliative care. He oversees the function of Palliative Care Center and Education & Skill building department at Pallium India. He is Honorary Tutor in the School of Medicine, Cardiff University, UK and was awarded International Physician scholarship from American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in 2018.
Ms Anu Thelly
Ms Anu Savio Thelly is Nurse Consultant at Dept. of Palliative Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute (MGMCRI), Puducherry. She is also a guest faculty at Pallium India.
Mr Mujeeb Kuttamassery
Mr Mujeeb Kuttamassery holds the position of Central Council Member (South Zone), Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC). He is Kerala State Chapter Secretary, National Association of Palliative Care for Ayush & Integrative Medicine (NAPCAIM) and Chairman of Life Care Foundation. He is also the winner of NAPCAIM 2022 National Award in Palliative Care.
Congratulations Dr Rajashree!
Congratulations Dr Rajashree K C (Assistant Professor, Department of Palliative Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi; Faculty of Palliative Medicine, Thrissur) on being awarded the ‘Padmini Varkey Memorial Award’ instituted by the Devaki Warrier Memorial Trust, Thiruvananthapuram.
Ms P K Sreemathy (Former Health Minister, Government of Kerala) presented the award comprising a plaque, a citation and cash prize to Dr Rajashree at an award ceremony held at Thiruvananthapuram, on Tuesday, 12th December, 2023.
Congratulations, Dr Vineetha Gopal!
Dr Vineetha Gopal, consultant in Pain Medicine who volunteers with Pallium India’s Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS) one day every week, has been awarded the prestigious fellowship – Fellow in Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP) following an exit exam conducted by the World Institute of Pain (USA) at Antalya in Turkey. FIPP is a universally accepted degree that certifies that the examinee has competence in interventional pain management.
Thank you Dr Vineetha for providing free services to our patients on a regular basis. Your presence one day a week is not only a precious gift for our patients, but also for our personnel to learn from you.
Thiruvananthapuram MCH to get geriatric dept.
A geriatric department will be launched in the government sector for the first time at the Government Medical College Hospital (MCH) in the State capital, Minister for Health Veena George has said.
The elderly will get treatment for various ailments in one place with the launch of the department, says the Health Minister.
In a first, Centre spells out rules for ICU admissions
The Central government has released guidelines for hospitals to use when taking a call on whether or not a patient needs to be treated in an intensive care unit (ICU). A committee of 24 eminent physicians with specialisations in critical care medicine has developed the guidelines.
They list out the medical conditions under which a patient requires admission in ICU, like “an altered level of consciousness or if the patient needs respiratory support”.
Events / Trainings / Conferences
The 31st annual conference of Indian Association Of Palliative Care (IAPC), IAPCON 2024 will be held at the Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute, Ahmedabad, from 9th February (Friday), to 11th February (Sunday), 2024.
The theme of IAPCON 2024 is ‘Revisiting the domains of Palliative Care’, as it aims to enhance the delegates’ practise of palliative care by empowering them with the various aspects in Palliative Care for both cancer and non-cancer patients.
For more information visit: https://www.iapcon2024.com
Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS), a WHO Collaborative Centre for Training and Policy on Access to Pain Relief under Pallium India, have partnered together to develop a Certificate Course in Palliative Care (CCPC) for doctors.
MBBS with minimum 3 years of clinical experience
Last date to register: 15 January 2024
This training program focusses on integrating the principles of palliative care into Pulmonology practice, with special focus on Chronic Lung Diseases.
Pulmonologists, Residents in Pulmonology
Read more and register here: https://palliumindia.org/2023/02/epmp-apr2024
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A Deep Dive into Global Health Security: Reflections
Dr Preeti Chauhan (Department Head – National Policy, Pallium India) writes about a thought-provoking webinar on ‘Global Health Security and the Health-Security Nexus: Principles, Politics and Praxis’, organized by the International Institute for Global Health, United Nations University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“The webinar discussed the emerging and growing health-security nexus in the wake of COVID-19 and the international focus on global health security. It presented two contrasting approaches to health security: neo-colonial health security and universal health security.”
The Importance of Managing Pain
In serious illnesses, pain can be prominent, persistent, and prevalent symptom. It is draining physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Intense pain that is not treated overshadows everything else. That’s why proper pain management is vital to palliative care.
The Five C’s of Palliative Care
Palliative care helps people live their best life despite a serious illness. Worldwide, though, people are denied this, both because of lack of access as well as a lack of understanding about what it has to offer.
Let’s try to change that, shall we?
For More about Palliative Care – Follow us on Instagram
Patients and families from anywhere in India can call Pallium India’s Telehealth helpline. Health care professionals who need advice on palliative care or pain management can call our numbers.
The service is FREE and available in English, Hindi, Malayalam and Tamil.
Our lines are open from Monday to Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4pm
Call: +91 964 588 4889 / +91 860 688 4889
In case of queries, please write to us: email@example.com
Pallium India maintains a state-wise directory of institutions offering palliative care services in India. The list includes palliative care providers from community-based organisations to tertiary care institutions and cancer care centers.
The directory covers critical information like contact details including phone numbers and email addresses, availability of In-patient, Out-patient and home care services, availability of morphine, etc.
If anyone you know needs palliative care support, our directory will help you find the centre closest to you. Do take a look at Pallium India’s Palliative Care Directory and let us know (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Contact us) if any centre near you is missing.
CAREERS / OPENINGS
Regional Coordinator (Ahmedabad & Mumbai)
For more openings across the country, visit our CAREERS page:
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Beneficiary: Pallium India Trust
Account No: 30086491915
State Bank of India
Branch: Pattom, Trivandrum
IFS Code: SBIN0003355
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Account Name: Pallium India Trust
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Follow us for palliative care news, views and updates – as & when they happen
Sahayatra, Pallium India’s monthly print magazine in Malayalam, is meant for anyone interested in Palliative Care – patients, families, palliative care professionals, volunteers and well-wishers.
Yearly subscription rate for Sahayatra is ₹200. (Only ₹500 if you subscribe for three years.) However, we send Sahayatra free of cost to patients and their families.
To receive Sahayatra monthly magazine by post, please send your complete postal address to email@example.com. Contact: 97467 45504
Read previous issues of Sahayatra online: https://palliumindia.org/sahayatra
Box of kindness
We were visiting Snehaanchal Palliative Care Hospice in Nagpur. Mr. Jimmy Rana, founder of Snehaanchal connected us to Mr. Khushroo Poacha, a railway employee and an epitome of kindness.
Mr. Khushroo Poacha shared about his work serving food to patients and families in hospitals. A personal experience of visiting a hospital inspired him to begin his “Neki ka Pitara” and “Seva Kitchen”. With a set of identified donors for a site and his own exceptional management skills, he started delivering fruits, vegetables, milk, juices etc. to different hospitals.
Pallium India’s Trivandrum institute received his Neki ka Pitara in October 2022. Since then patients and families at our institution are able to get a regular and free supply of milk, juices and anything they desire to be kept in the fridge. We also received groceries to feed our patients for a year.
In his endeavour to reach out to more dedicated organizations, Mr. Khushroo Poacha also arranged for a Neki ka Pitara for Pallium India partners’ Ruma Abedona Hospice in Kolkata and Cachar Cancer Hospital in Silchar.
In Pallium India’s weekly team meeting on December 29, 2023, we all were wondering about the magic behind this fridge at the reception getting refilled on its own every time it gets empty. That’s when everybody got to know about the magician, Mr. Khushroo Poacha and his magic of getting the fridge refilled. We talked about his noble intentions and his box of kindness.
All of us at Pallium India wish to thank him for his selfless work and service to our patients. May his mission of compassion grow in leaps and bounds!!
Read more about Seva Kitchen, Neki ka Pitara and the man behind them, Mr. Khushroo Poacha, at www.sevakitchen.org.
(Written by Shalini AJ, Head – National Facilitation, Pallium India.)
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