Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences teamed up with Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS) - an organ of Pallium India to host a ten-day foundation course on Palliative Care for the MGIMS doctors and nurses. Several palliative care experts stayed in Sevagram, sensitized the audience on the need of palliative care, explained the principles of palliative care, identified needy patients in and around Sevagram and gave the hands on training to the delegates. Twenty participants including faculty and nurses from the institute participated in the course.
Earlier, on 4th March 2019, the institute screened a movie Hippocratic-18 Experiments in Gently Shaking the World - an award winning film on ethical medicine and global access to pain relief. Several people from media, press reporters, faculty, staff and students watched the screening.
Ms Gilly Burn, a health professional from the UK whose passion for palliative care is legendary, introduced the concept of palliative care and its need for incorporation in medical syllabus. She also stressed rupon pain management and communication strategies like how to break the bad news.
Mr Jimmy Rana (Managing Director at Dinshaw's Dairy Foods and a Philanthropist to establish the first palliative care centre in Nagpur) gave the philanthropist perspective of Palliative Care and showcased how this care is a joint effort between the healthcare providers and the community.
The participants and the MGIMS social workers paid home visit to the patients with cancer and learnt the art of home-based palliative care. Dr Abhijeet Dam (Medical Director, KOSISH-the hospice, Rural Jharkhand) introduced the clinical aspects of palliative treatment, management of chronic symptoms, pain relief and delirium. Ms Alice Stella (Nurse TIPS) gave hands-on training on nursing aspects of palliative care like wound management, psychosocial assessment and home-based care.
Dr MR Rajagopal (Chairman of Pallium India, Director of Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences and the father of Palliative Care in India visited MGIMS during this programme. “Medical care is not just about physical relief to the patient and caregivers, but also about spiritual, social and psychological support”, said the Padma Shri awardee during his interactive session at the Academy of Medical Sciences. Dr Rajagopal expressed his willingness to help MGIMS get its palliative care unit working. He also urged the audience to spread the awareness, join advocacy groups to influence change at legislative and executive levels and donate to existing palliative care centres.
Dr SP Kalantri (Medical Superintendent and Organizing Secretary of the course) congratulated the team and said, “After the completion of this phenomenal course, Kasturba Hospital is now confident about treating the person and not just the disease”. “There are plans afoot to develop a 30-bed Palliative care Centre on our campus,” Dr Kalantri announced.
“This training has made us understand the agony, anger, anguish and sadness a chronic illness breeds and how to address the challenges of the incurable illnesses,” said Dr Vishakha Jain who played a key role in organizing the training course. “We shall now aim to deliver pain-free death and restore the self-respect and the dignity of both the patient and the family,” said Dr Mona Rai, the palliative care physician from MGIMS.