Health

More than 6 million patients in India need palliative care

More than 6 million patients in India need palliative care, but it has further increased during the corona infection. Palliative care is provided to reduce the pain and problems of the patients with serious illness such as cancer, AIDS, organ failure etc.

According to the definition of World Health Organisation, Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

More than 6 million patients in the country need palliative care, but due to lack of palliative care facilities, only 4% people are able to take advantage of this facility. On the occasion of World Palliative Care Day that takes place on every second Saturday of October, Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital and Research Centre palliative care department head Dr Anjum Khan Joad said many patients during the corona infection have come under the category of need for palliative care due to obstruction in the treatment of critical illness. She said that it has become very challenging to deliver palliative care to the needy patients at the right time due to the world pandemic.

Dr Joad said, “The government or hospital is making efforts at its level during the pandemic, but for every needy to get palliative care, it is necessary that NGOs, social service organisations and the general public should also come forward for this.” Providing palliative care is not costly or expensive and it can be provided at home through training. It is also not mandatory to keep the patient admitted in the hospital, she informed.

A lot of work has been done by the government in the palliative care programme in the country. In the recent past, many doctors and nurses were imparted training on behalf of the National Health Mission at various districts in Rajasthan. Dr Joad said that her department of the hospital has also trained doctors and nursing staff in palliative care in 22 districts including Jhalawar, Jodhpur, Sriganganagar, Alwar, Bhilwara, Nagaur, Pali and others.

Palliative care works as a team to make the life better of patients fighting serious diseases. The team includes a doctor, nurse, psychologist, social worker, physiotherapist and a dietician. The objective of the palliative care is to provide relief from pain and discomfort caused by the disease to the patient as well as to boost the morale of the patient and their family members.

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