PALLIATIVE CARE

When someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness, it can affect everything. Medical costs drive 39 million Indians into poverty each year – but effective palliative care will ensure a person can live the rest of their life with dignity free from debilitating pain as well as provide extended care and support to the wider affected family.

There are at least 2 million people in India suffering in agony from terminal illnesses and shockingly only 1% of people who need palliative care actually receive it. Severe restrictions on the use of morphine, a lack of qualified palliative care professionals and the stigma attached to death means India is ranked 67 out of 80 in a study comparing end of life care. It also means every day; thousands of people are dying in excruciating pain.

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OUR WORK

We believe in the importance of caring for the dying, so that people and their families can retain their dignity in the face of death

We work with hospitals that can provide high quality palliative and home based care to those that need it the most. This requires reaching out to the economically marginalised; patients who remain dying in their homes, families who’ve drained their resources, financially and emotionally, to support their loved ones. More recently we became involved with an initiative to fund the education of children whose parents are patients in care, so that the devastating effects of cancer and other illnesses don’t prevent children from learning.

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When I get back home, the thing I am looking forward to most is to look after my child, being with him, being able to look after him better, playing with him.

Krishnamma, lymphedema patient, Kerala

Our work with Pallium India across the states of Kerala and Tripura, is focused on ensuring there is a team of trained professionals equipped with expert palliative care and pain management skills.

Projects focus on improving the lives of those living with life threatening illness and disability.

The team take a whole-family approach, built on establishing meaningful relationships and prioritising all of their needs. This might be nutritional, financial, psychosocial, medicinal or simply just a listening ear. Depending on the need, care is delivered in house or linked to hospitals.

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My experience at the hospital was really beautiful, it’s like a family

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Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life and continues to care for the person even if a cure is not possible. It also continues to support the family when the patient is gone. It is about quality of life and quality of death

Dr Rajagopal, Pallium India