One Day Palliative Care Awareness Program at CIHSR, Nagaland
With the aim to educate and bring awareness to the masses, a One Day Palliative Care awareness program was organized by the Palliative Care Team of Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research (CIHSR), Dimapur on the 28th of September 2018 at CIHSR Campus. This program was sponsored by the Indian Association of Palliative Care.
The day’s event started with the welcome address and Invocation by the Deputy Director of the Institution, Dr. Viu Meru. This was followed by an Introductory session on Palliative Care by Dr. Abhijit Dam, Secretary of the Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC), and Medical Director KOSISH Hospice Jharkhand, who emphasized that Palliative Care “affirms life, regards dying as normal process, neither hastens or delays death, provides relief from pain and other symptoms, Integrates psychological and spiritual aspects of care, offers a support system to help the patients to live as actively as possible until the last breath, and also offers a support system to the family to cope during the patients’ illness and in their own bereavement.” Dr. Abhijit also revealed that the end-of-life care is the most neglected core business of medicine today.
The second session on the scenario of Palliative Care in India by Dr. Sanghamitra Bora, Consultant of Palliative Oncology, North East Cancer Hospital and Research Institute, Jorabat, Guwahati Assam, enlightened the participants with the latest data and statistics about Palliative Care in India. Dr. Rajesh, a Radiation Oncologist from CMC Vellore also shared an oncologist’s perspective on Palliative care.
Dr. Nepuni Athikho, Head of the Palliative Care Department, and also a family physician, CIHSR then highlighted the current undertakings of the CIHSR Palliative Care Department and the team. He also shared the opportunities as well as the challenges that the Palliative Care Team experiences in its endeavor to reach out to those who are in need. Mr. Aonuktsung Imchen, Chaplain CIHSR, in the third session, shared about the importance of spiritual and social support in Palliative Care and also challenged the participants about the roles that the church and the society can play in giving a holistic care to those patients, who are terminally ill.
The afternoon session was a panel discussion on Palliative Care where four eminent personalities namely Rev. Dr. Thungdemo (Principal Eastern Bible College), Rev. Dr. Ellen Konyak (Associate Professor, Oriental Theological Seminary), Mrs. Ahimsa Zhimomi (Founder, Cancer Support Group) and Dr. Merenla (Health and Family Welfare, Kohima) were the panelist. They covered a lot of questions and topics ranging from social, psychological, medical and also spiritual perspectives.
Another highlight of the day’s program was ‘Echoes of Hope’ where two of the participants who have experienced Palliative Care support in their family, shared their testimonies and first-hand experience of what Palliative Care meant to them and their families. This was an eye-opener and also a challenge for many of the participants.
Dr. Nepuni Athikho, pronounced the vote of thanks, while Dr. Christy Simpson (Principal, College of Nursing, CIHSR) said the closing prayer. The emcee of the program was Ms. Orentsani Kithan, psychologist, Developmental Pediatrics, CIHSR).
The program was a first of its kind in Nagaland, especially with regard to Palliative Care Awareness and the participants had so much to take home from the day’s program. They were not just made aware of what Palliative Care is all about, but also challenged and encouraged them as to how we as community and as Church can get involve in Palliative Care.
Altogether, about 120 participants representing various Churches, Hospitals, Theological Colleges, and also select students from the College of Nursing (CIHSR) attended the day long program.
CIHSR Palliative Care Team.