Published on: April 26, 2024

In a collaborative effort aimed at fortifying palliative care provisions in Himachal Pradesh, Pallium India spearheaded an enlightening orientation session for the National Health Mission-Himachal Pradesh (NHM-HP). Attended by 54 participants, including doctors and district program officers, this session served as a catalyst for advancing palliative care initiatives across the state.

Dr. Gopal Chauhan, the NPPC Program Officer of NHM-HP, graced the event, underscoring the commitment of the health mission to prioritize palliative care initiatives. The session witnessed enriching lectures delivered by esteemed speakers renowned in their respective fields:

With a compelling introduction to palliative care, Dr. Parul Raina set the stage for the session, emphasizing the principles of holistic care and the pivotal role of palliative care in enhancing quality of life for patients facing life-limiting illnesses.

Sharing insights derived from his experience at the Cancer Hospital, IGMC Shimla, Dr. Manish Gupta provided a comprehensive overview of existing palliative care services in Himachal Pradesh. He highlighted the operational aspects of the Palliative Care Centre in Shimla, offering valuable lessons and best practices for replication and scale-up across the state.

Dr. Aditi Chaturvedi delved into the transformative potential of volunteers in palliative care and shared her experiences in spearheading home care services in and around Chamba. Her presentation underscored the indispensable role of community engagement and grassroots initiatives in expanding access to palliative care services in remote areas.

The lectures delivered by these distinguished faculty members not only imparted knowledge but also sparked meaningful discussions on the involvement of communities in strengthening palliative care initiatives. Recognizing the pivotal role of community engagement, participants explored strategies to foster collaboration between healthcare providers, patients, families, and community stakeholders to enhance access and utilization of palliative care services.

A highlight of the session was the spirited discussion on the way forward, wherein participants exchanged ideas and proposed actionable steps to drive the palliative care agenda forward in Himachal Pradesh. From capacity building initiatives to policy advocacy and community outreach programs, a multifaceted approach was envisaged to ensure comprehensive and inclusive palliative care services across the state.

In closing, the orientation session served as a catalyst for transformative action, heralding a brighter future where palliative care transcends boundaries to touch the lives of those in need with warmth and empathy.

(Report prepared by Dr Jatin Bhukal, Regional Facilitator, Pallium India.)

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