Care Beyond Cure
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! April 2016 !
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March 31, 2016
WHO COLLABORATING CENTRE – RENEWAL OF DESIGNATION FOR 4 YEARS
We are glad to report that the World Health Organization Collaborating
Centre for Policy and Training on Access to Pain Relief
[http://palliumindia.org/about/tips/] at Trivandrum completes four years of its
operation on 31st March 2016. We have achieved significant progress during this
period of time and are very pleased that a renewal of designation for another
four years has been made by the World Health Organization.
Our particular thanks to everyone who has helped, particularly to
Kathleen Holloway (WHO SEARO), who is retiring on the day we complete four
years of our Collaborating Centre status. Best Wishes, Kathleen, for your
retired life, and thank you very much for all the help rendered to us. Thank
you to all officials who have supported us from WHO (India), WHO SEARO and WHO
headquarters at Geneva.
PALLIUM INDIA IS NOW ACCREDITED BY GOVERNMENT OF KERALA
We are happy to inform all our well-wishers and friends that under a
new scheme of department of Social Justice of Government of Kerala, Pallium
India is now one of 12 NGOs accredited by it.
THANK YOU EVERYONE, FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
AN IMPORTANT STEP FORWARD
The commission on narcotic drugs (CND), a body of the United Nations
Office on Drugs and Crime has come out with a historic “outcome document” on 23
March 2016 for submission to the United Nations General Assembly Special
Session (UNGASS) on Drugs which meets in April 2016. You can read the document
here: UNGASS Outcome Document
Thank you for your untiring advocacy for this, Katherine Pettus,
Diederik Lohman, Stephen Connor, Liliana De Lima, Jim Cleary, Rolg-Detlef,
Chris Ford and many others.
And thank you Nandini Vallath for representing Pallium India at the
side event of CND at Vienna and advocating for this.
WAR ON DRUGS ACTIVELY HARMS PUBLIC HEALTH, WARNS STUDY
According to a study commissioned by the Johns Hopkins Ivy League
University and The Lancet [http://press.thelancet.com/DrugsPolicy1.pdf] , the
five-decade long international “War on Drugs” has harmed the public health and
should be scrapped in favour of a process of decriminalisation.
The Johns Hopkins University–Lancet Commission on Public Health and
International Drug Policy calls for worldwide reform of drug policies
* The decriminalization of minor and non-violent drug use, possession
and petty sale
* Enactment of policies that reduce violence and discrimination in drug
* Increased access to controlled medicines that could reduce the risk
of overdose deaths
* Greater investments in health and social services for drug users
The report is based on an extensive review by the commissioners of the
published evidence, and on original analyses and modeling on violence,
incarceration, and infectious diseases associated with drug policies.
Dr Nandini Vallath, Pallium India’s WHO Collaborating Centre
consultant, is one of the Lancet-Harvard commissioners who conducted this
INDIANS, BOW YOUR HEADS IN SHAME.
What kind of people are we, if we allow millions of fellow human beings
to suffer agonising pain so totally needlessly?
How can we allow this to happen when _WE_ grow the poppy, export
shiploads of opium to the rest of the world for pain relief, and deny our own
people of pain relief?
Read the article by Ms Katherine Pettus
in EAPC blog, quoting the data from International Narcotics Control Board. The
situation in India is abysmally poor.
What do we need? More important than anything else, more awareness
about the problem, education of professionals and implementation of existing
policies and laws.
THE PRINCIPLE OF BALANCE SHOULD APPLY TO EVERYBODY – INCLUDING THE MEDIA
It is sad that news often is one-sided. While it’s important to prevent
prescription drug abuse, it is as important to prevent needless pain. It is not
one or the other; pain relief is not an optional extra.
Please read the blog by Willem Scholten
. Thank you, Avril Jackson, for bringing this to our attention.
HEALTHY INDIA ALLIANCE INVITES YOUR PARTICIPATION
In an effort to contain the damage from non-communicable diseases in
India, the global NCD Alliance convened a consultation of civil society
organizations in July 2015. Following this, an Indian network called Healthy
India Alliance has been announced. It is planning a national consultation on
25th to 27th April 2016 at Delhi. Civil Society Organizations are invited.
Click here to read the details of the Healthy India Alliance National
Download the Healthy India Alliance_NC_RegistrationForm [http://Healthy
India Alliance Registration Form] .
For additional details, please contact Prachi Kathuria at
prachi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:prachi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] or call on +91-11
INTERESTED IN STARTING A PALLIATIVE CARE SERVICE IN NORTH INDIA?
Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (a World Health
Organization Collaborating Center), an organ of Pallium India, calls for
Expression of Interest
from medical institutions (medical colleges, cancer centers and major
hospitals), preferably in North India, for undertaking development of
palliative care services.
The aim of the project is to initiate palliative care in medical
institutions which agree to making palliative care an institutional priority.
The project will provide financial support, training of professionals and offer
technical support to the selected institution.
All Government or charitable medical college hospitals or other major
hospitals and major cancer centres are eligible to apply. Those from states
without much development of palliative care services will be given priority.
The last date for receiving the filled expression of interest forms is
20TH MAY 2016.
For more information on this program, please visit: _ Pallium India’s
Outreach Programs [http://palliumindia.org/programs/outreach-programs/] _
Interested institutions are requested to fill up the expression of
interest form and to send it to info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN WEALTH AND HAPPINESS, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
In 1972, Bhutan’s King challenged the world to give importance to human
happiness than to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Are the richest nations
necessarily the ones where people are happy? The concept caused some a kind of
revolution. Happiness seemed too soft, and not scientific and measurable enough
to our trained material world. Yet, it found its way to the United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Among 156 countries that were included in the World Happiness Report
2016, India ranked 118th, one slot below its position last year.
Look at the latest report at: http://worldhappiness.report/
“I CANNOT BEAR TO SEE THIS SUFFERING ANYMORE!”
“Please finish him off,” said the thin elderly woman. “Please put
something into him. Please…”
I was taken aback. Was she asking me to kill her husband? I stammered
some response. Seeing that I was not going to oblige, she grabbed my hand and
added, “I promise, I promise by everything solemn to me that I will not breathe
a word of this to anyone. No one will know. Only you and I will. Just finish
him off. I cannot bear to see this suffering anymore.”
She was so exhausted that she was barely able to get up. The
desperation in her voice was compelling. “Please…”
Her husband, who was on the examination couch, had banged his head
against the wall. Blood was oozing out of the ugly cancer on his cheek. He
thrashed about and made weird noises, like an animal being tortured. My
colleagues were already with him. I had been about to join them when I felt her
tug in my arm and heard her strange request. I sat down beside her and laid my
hand on hers.
“It’s all my fault,” she said. I was surprised. How can his cancer be
“He had tried to save himself by jumping out of the window,” she said.
“It was a tall, tall hospital. He could have escaped from this life. But I
screamed and yelled and dragged him back.
“People came and restrained him. I should have allowed him to go. Then
he would not have had to bear this endless agony.”
She went on to describe the suffering: how for days and nights through
months he continued to be in sleepless anguish, how he seemed to be losing his
“He was a good man,” the lady told me. “He looked after the children
and me well. He was a good man. He did not deserve this.”
_In this article published in International Doctors for Healthier Drug
Policies (IDHDP) website
, Dr M.R.Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, recalls a heart-wrenching story
of a family who suffered for months before eventually getting proper pain
CONTINUE READING ON EHOSPICE
SEEKING EXPERIENCED INTERNATIONAL PHYSICIANS
Pallium India seeks clinically experienced international physicians who
are able to practice and teach in a variety of settings, include home visits,
outpatient visits, and the inpatient unit. They must be adaptable to new
environments and be able to commit to over 3 months. Pallium India will provide
translators as most patients will prefer to speak Malayalam. Teaching will be
done in English.
If you are interested, please write to us: info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
CERTIFICATE COURSE AT JAIPUR POSTPONED
We regret to inform you that due to unforeseen circumstances, the
upcoming 6-weeks certificate course at Jaipur has been postponed. New dates
have not been finalised.
We apologize for any inconvenience. Kindly write to
palliumjaipur@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:palliumjaipur@xxxxxxxxx] for information.
_Read more about our Courses [http://palliumindia.org/courses/] ._
IAHPC TRAVELING SCHOLARSHIPS TO THE INTERNATIONAL PALLIATIVE CARE CONFERENCE OF
THE AFRICAN PALLIATIVE CARE ASSOCIATION
International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) is
providing 15 scholarships to support the travel of palliative care workers to
attend the 5TH INTERNATIONAL PALLIATIVE CARE CONFERENCE OF THE AFRICAN
PALLIATIVE CARE ASSOCIATION IN KAMPALA, UGANDA, AUGUST 16-19 2016.
The applicants must be:
* Living in Lower, Lower-Middle and Upper- Middle income categories as
per the World Bank income classification data
. Preference will be given to individuals living and working in African
* Active members of IAHPC. (If you wish to apply and are not an IAHPC
member, you can join by clicking here [http://hospicecare.com/join-iahpc/] .)
* Working actively in palliative care.
Preference will be given to individuals who have not received an IAHPC
grant in the past three years, are at least 50% dedicated to palliative care in
their current work, graduated less than 10 years ago from their specialty or
medical school, and with accepted poster or oral presentations in the Congress.
APCA will give discounted registration fees to individuals from African
countries and an early bird fee for individuals applying before APRIL 30, 2016.
Additional information about the congress is available in the congress website
[https://africanpalliativecare.org/conference2016/index.php] . Applications
from physicians, nurses, psychologists and other disciplines are welcome. More
detailed information about the application process and the online form are
available at the IAHPC website
Deadline to apply is APRIL 15, 2016. Results will be announced by early
Applicants who submitted abstracts and whose posters are accepted, also
need to send to IAHPC the confirmation of the acceptance after they receive it
from APCA. The last date to submit abstracts is 1 APRIL, 2016.
SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM FOR CERTIFICATE COURSES
Indo American Cancer Association (IACA), in association with TIPS (an
organ of Pallium India), is offering a scholarship to undergo a 6 weeks
residential/non residential palliative care training course at selected centres
* MNJ Institute of Oncology, Hyderabad, Telengana. Contact:
* Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences, Trivandrum, Kerala.
Contact: info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
* TATA Medical Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra. Contact:
muckadenma@xxxxxxxxxx [mailto:muckadenma@xxxxxxxxxx] , anuja.damani@xxxxxxxxx
* Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Contact:
* Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital & Research Centre, Jaipur, Rajastan.
Contact: palliumjaipur@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:palliumjaipur@xxxxxxxxx]
TYPE OF SCHOLARSHIP
Depends on performance of the candidate in the telephonic interview
conducted by IACA interview panel.
Full support to the outstation candidates includes – Travel,
accommodation, canteen, local travel, fees with cap on all items. Partial
support is given to the local candidates.
* Doctor – MBBS
* Nurse – BSc/GNM
Please click on the following link for more info:
_For more information on our courses, please visit:
http://palliumindia.org/courses [http://palliumindia.org/courses] _
UPCOMING COURSES ON PALLIATIVE CARE
Pallium India, in collaboration with other organizations, conducts
courses on palliative care for health care professionals and volunteers in
different parts of India.
(CCPPM: Certificate course in pain and palliative medicine for doctors.
CCPN: Certificate course in palliative nursing for nurses. CCPC: Certificate
course in palliative care for non-doctor, non-nurse participants.)
Please note: IACA scholarships are available for limited number of
* May 2: Foundation Course (10 days). Trivandrum, Kerala. Contact:
* May 2: CCPPM and CCPN (6 weeks). Trivandrum, Kerala. Contact:
For the complete course schedule and other details, please visit our
Courses [http://palliumindia.org/courses/] page.
PROF MAX WATSON GETS COVETED AWARD
Professor Max Watson, a great friend of palliative care in India, has
been named the recipient of this year’s Fiona Bradley Award, reports Irish
In the citation for Prof Watson, who has also trained in theology and
general practice, GP and Professor of Urban General Practice at UCD Prof Walter
Cullen said: “The Award celebrates the contribution of our late colleague Dr
Fiona Bradley as an independent fearless voice in Irish society. Prof Watson
has certainly made a sustained difference to the social and scientific
dimensions in healthcare both in Ireland and internationally and certainly
fulfils the criteria on which the Award is based.” Read the news report
Thank you, Max, for all that you did for our people in India.
_[Professor Max Watson (3rd from left) with the family of Dr. Fiona
BOOKS DONATED TO SCHOOL CHILDREN
Prof. Rangaswamy Rajagopal, a long time friend of Pallium India, from
the University of Iowa, has donated books by Disney Publishing to be
distributed to children from low income families.
Our volunteer, Dr John Ely, our CEO Mr Manoj G. S. and members of
Pallium India staff visited Sisuvihar UP School, Vazhuthacaud, Trivandrum, and
handed over these books to the children. There were 250 books in English for
children of age group 3-12 years, including stories, activity and coloring
Thank you, Prof. Rangaswamy Rajagopal. Your support means a lot to us.
_[Dr John Ely with the school children]_
WHERE IS THE NEED? THERE WE GO.
With a huge patient population with head and neck cancers in our
country, dental and oral care is so very essential to relieve suffering. Our
children, whether with cancer or with neurological deficits, commonly have
dental problem too. It is so hard for them to access kind and inexpensive
Pallium India’s Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS) is
venturing into this area. On 11th March 2016, our dear Dr Ann Broderick from
Iowa, USA, threw the new dental clinic open to our patients. Our
dentist-palliative care doctors, Dr Sreedevi Warrier and Dr Amrutha Thampi will
be looking after this service.
THIS IS THE LEAST WE CAN DO FOR THEM
Our society is not kind to people with limitations in movement – like
those on wheelchairs. It’s almost as if the society deliberately creates
barriers to deny them access to our roads, our side-walks, our public
Despite everything, they are amazing with their creativity. Pallium
India office opened a little stall to display products of these wonderful
people. On 11th March 2016, Dr John Ely, the kind doctor from the USA who is
helping us for a few months, opened the stall for sale.
Do your shopping here and encourage these very talented people!
FOOD FESTIVAL AT TRIVANDRUM ON MARCH 18 AND 19
Volunteers and well wishers of Pallium India are organizing a food festival in
Trivandrum on March 18 and 19 to raise funds for patient care, rehabilitation
and educational support for patients’ children.
* VENUE: Canara Bank, Spencer Junction, Trivandrum
* DATE: March 18 and 19
* TIME: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
We request your support. Please visit with your family and make this
program a success.
WORKSHOP FOR SOCIAL WORKERS
Pallium India, in collaboration with Kerala University Social Workers
Association (KUSWA), Department of Sociology, Kerala University, and
Association of Professional Social Workers for Social Change (APSSC) organized
a State level workshop on Palliative Care for Social Workers on March 23rd at
Kerala University Campus at Kariavattom.
PALLIATIVE CARE INFORMATION CENTRE [HTTP://PALLIUMINDIA.ORG/INFO-CENTRE]
Contact Pallium India’s Information Centre (9 am to 12 noon) for
information related to palliative care and about establishments where such
facilities are available in India. Telephone: +91-9746745497 or E-mail:
Address: Pallium India, Arumana Hospital, Perunthanni, Trivandrum
For more details, please visit: http://palliumindia.org/info-centre/
NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
* Ending the War on Drugs: a rights perspective
* CDC Releases Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
* Combating NCDs: Need of the hour
* City hospital to have palliative care unit in six months
* Regional cancer hospital to go rural
* What would a world without cancer really look like?
* Providing palliative care in emerging market health systems
* Dying, with nothing to say
* Death is a part of Medicine. I will never get used to it.
* What does giving up really mean?
* A letter to … the hospice doctor who helped us to say goodbye
DON’T MISS READING THIS BOOK
Paul Kalanithi, neurosurgeon, writer and a great human being, died of cancer
in March 2015. He died young, having just completed his senior residency. He
wrote “When Breath Becomes Air” while under treatment. Don’t miss it; it
teaches life’s precious lessons. And death’s.
“I had”, Paul wrote, “traversed the five stages of grief – the “Denial
→ Anger → Bargaining → Depression → Acceptance” cliché – but I had done it all
backward…….And now finally, may be, I had arrived at Denial. Maybe total
But not really. That denial was not final. He learnt acceptance and
died, looking death in the face, leaving behind his loving wife Lucy and eight
month old daughter Cady.
Lucy writes in the epilogue, “I expected to feel only empty and
heartbroken after Paul died. It never occurred to me that you could love
someone the same way after he was gone.”