Monday, May 08, 2006
You may have noticed how often I mentioned Calicut in my posts and newsletter. Let me tell you a little of the history of this pioneering service in Northern Kerala. In 1993 Prof Rajagopal, Dr Suresh Kumar and a small team formed the Pain and Palliative Care Society (PPCS) and began to develop a palliative care service based in the government medical college. A busy OP, with the words 'listen' pinned to the walls, was the focus with home care teams and link centre clinics. Negotiations with government made morphine available and a unique model of empowering faimiles and training volunteers developed. This was recognised with WHO demonstration project status as a model of palliative care for developing countries. Over the ensuing time this service has continued to evolve. In 2002 a movement known as NNPC (Neighbourhood Networks in Palliative Care) mobilised whole communities where the service was owned and run by the volunteers with input from health care workers. Perhaps I will tell you of this in a separate BLOG post. In 2003 a centre for education, training and in-patient care was opened - the Institute of Palliative Medicine. Much of the training is for volunteers with staggering numbers completeing basic and advanced training. This includes an innovative project to train trainers in offering psychological interventions as part of their therapeutic care. The nurse with a young patient on the left is Mina - one of the original team . Her smile and skilled care speak volumes. Praveen is a volunteer who has worked for 13 years in the PPCS and is involved in many of the training programmes. Here he is teaching communication skills. I have been involved in Calicut since my first visit to India in 1999, and it is always like coming home. This trip I have contributed to the BCCPM - a 6 week training programme for doctors (see picture)and the Fellowship programme for distance learning. The slogan for the PPCS sums it up - 'People for People in Pain' It is a place of ideas, energy, skill, inspiration and compassion. I am delighted to say that Cairdeas will continue to have a working partnership here and I will continue as visiting faculty to the Institute.
Posted by Cairdeas at 7:12 am