Pallium India Newsletter: Pallium India Special Newsletter: TIPS Named WHO Collaborating Center

Pallium India
Care Beyond Cure





         

WE ARE HONOURED AND PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE TRIVANDRUM INSTITUTE OF 
PALLIATIVE SCIENCES (TIPS), THE FLAGSHIP PROGRAM OF PALLIUM INDIA, HAS BEEN 
NAMED A WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) COLLABORATING CENTER. 

THIS IS A HUGE LEAP FORWARD IN THE RECOGNITION OF OUR MODEL OF PALLIATIVE CARE 
FOR INDIA AND THE REST OF THE WORLD. THE NEWS WAS ANNOUNCED TODAY IN THE MARCH 
2012 WHO ACCESS AND CONTROL NEWSLETTER 
[HTTP://WWW.WHO.INT/MEDICINES/AREAS/QUALITY_SAFETY/ACCESS_CONTR_NEWSLETTER/EN/INDEX.HTML]
 .

        Here is the news release: "

         [http://palliumindia.org/tips] TRIVANDRUM, Kerala, India – March 19, 
2012 – Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS), the flagship program 
of Pallium India [http://palliumindia.org] , a registered charitable trust 
headquartered in Trivandrum, Kerala, India has been declared a World Health 
Organization Collaborating Center (WHOCC). Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, Regional 
Director of World Health Organization, informed the organization in a message 
delivered on February 28, 2012 that the designation for a period of four years 
is for collaboration in the areas of “Training and Policy on Access to Pain 
Relief”. 

        “We are honored and pleased to receive this designation, which allows 
us to link up our work in the relief of pain and suffering in India to the 
national and international bodies that seek the same outcome,” said Dr. M.R. 
Rajagopal, chairman and founder of Pallium India and TIPS. “For too long, 
patients who needed pain relief and other palliative care services have been 
denied them due to outmoded bureaucratic red tape and other barriers. With the 
World Health Organization’s help, we envision a future in which all who need 
palliative care will receive it.” 

        Today in India, more than 99% of the needy — people with cancer, 
HIV/AIDS, and other diseases causing prolonged pain — have no access to pain 
relief. Twenty-five years after the World Health Organization (WHO) came out 
with a viable protocol for pain relief, oral morphine is still not available in 
the majority of hospitals in India. This is an essential medicine according to 
the WHO. Modern principles of pain management are not taught to medical 
students in all but a handful of the medical colleges in the country. Through 
this recent announcement, the WHO is showing its commitment to turning this 
situation around for India and the rest of the developing world. 

        In his message to Pallium India, Mr Willem Scholten who leads the 
“Access to Controlled Medicines” program in World Health Organizations 
headquarters at Geneva said, “Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Medicine is 
an example for other pain centres and policy makers around the world. 
Unfortunately, very restricted access to pain medicines is rather the rule than 
the exception, like it used to be all over India in the past, but Kerala shows 
that it is possible to improve.” 

        Pioneering work by the Indian palliative care community in association 
with the WHO Collaborating Center at Madison-Wisconsin has resulted in 
simplification of narcotic regulations in 14 Indian states. Kerala, where TIPS 
is headquartered, has particularly been far ahead of the rest of the country in 
this aspect. There, about 100 institutions stock and dispense oral morphine to 
the needy for use in the home setting. At least three medical colleges in the 
state impart education in pain management and palliative care. Kerala remains 
the only state in India to declare a palliative care policy. The result is at 
least 50% of the needy have access to palliative care. 

        Working towards improving access to pain relief in the rest of the 
country, Pallium India has successfully initiated development of palliative 
care centers in eight North and North-Eastern states over the last five years. 
Five of them are in Regional Cancer Centers. It continues to fund and train 
centers across India. 

        TIPS has its office in Pattom, Trivandrum, Kerala and its patient 
services based at the S.U.T Royal Hospital at Kochulloor, Trivandrum. It 
provides outpatient and home visit facilities from these bases of operation. 
The Institute works with volunteer-led community based organizations to provide 
weekly home visits to bed-bound patients. TIPS is also a training centre, 
conducting six weeks certificate courses for doctors, nurses and other 
professionals six times a week, as well as a ten-day foundation course for 
doctors. In addition, it conducts periodic volunteer training programs, as 
volunteers form an important part of the care team. The organization is also 
supported by volunteers around the world, and has a USA volunteer arm, Pallium 
India-USA, led by Dr. Jerina Kapoor. 

        “The newly designated WHO collaborating center at TIPS will work with 
organs of WHO, with Central and State Governments, with the Indian Association 
of Palliative Care and with other national and international agencies to 
improve access to pain relief for those in need in the country,” said Dr. 
Rajagopal. “Through these efforts, we will continue our goal of ensuring that 
all Indians are treated with respect, and that those with serious illness can 
live out their lives with the appropriate dignity they deserve.” 

        For more information, please visit http://palliumindia.org [../../] ." 

        *********************************************************** 

        Here is some of the news coverage it has received so far: 
        * Express Buzz: TIPS declared as WHO Collaborating Centre 
[http://expressbuzz.com/cities/thiruvananthapuram/TIPS-declared-as-a-WHO-Collaborating-Centre/368809.html]
 
        * IBN Live: TIPS declared as a WHO Collaborating Centre 
[http://ibnlive.in.com/news/tips-declared-as-a-who-collaborating-centre/235411-60-123.html]
 

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[HTTP://TWITTER.COM/PALLIUMINDIA] .

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