The Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) conducted a 2 day (22nd and 23rd March, 2021) virtual teaching and sensitization workshop on palliative care, for 51 of Madhya Pradesh’s District Zonal officers. The District Zonal Officers are those doctors who are in charge of the various government sponsored district hospitals spread across the state.

The Government of Madhya Pradesh began initiating the Palliative Care Program since 2018 under the umbrella of the National Program for Palliative Care (NPPC) with a primary program orientation. This sensitization workshop was conducted to empower and facilitate doctors to integrate palliative care services into their state public health system.

The 2 day sensitization workshop began with introducing the concept of palliative care to the various Zonal Officers. As the sessions progressed, they were introduced to a range of topics such as palliative care in management of respiratory symptoms, emergencies in palliative care, paediatric palliative care, Ethical issues in End of Life Care, Spirituality, Communication in palliative care etc.

The doctors were also sensitized of the integral role of nurses, in palliative care delivery. Topics such as nursing issues, oral care, ostomies etc. were a few of the topics covered in this regard.

The virtual workshop was conducted by experts from the field of palliative care, who generously offered their time towards conducting this sensitization workshop.

One of the Zonal officers shared that, “I particularly enjoyed the session on Pain Management… my knowledge has been refreshed”. Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar, President, IAPC, responded by saying that “We as physicians, are usually aware of all these various concepts… be it medical topics, or humanities or communication.. However, putting it in the right perspective is what palliative medicine is all about”.

The stimulating workshop was packed with practical tips and concluded with Dr. Roshini, State NCD Consultant, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh thanking IAPC and requesting further collaboration towards conducting more in-depth training for the various Zonal officers and to also plan for similar practical sensitisation session for nurses from the various district hospitals. She went on to add that “For the next year, we have allocated more budget for training in the State PIP, so we would be requiring your support to conduct more training for our PHC level staff and the field level staff”.

A few excerpts from the other feedback received:

“The session was very helpful.. We learnt and understood alot of new concepts that will help us to better interact with patients and their families..We also enjoyed these sessions.” – Zonal Officer 5

“In every CME, we usually get refreshed with basic concepts.. But this session was different because we learnt so many things by sitting in our homes.. like how to improve our practice due to the knowledge gained and the practical tips shared by expert faculty from Pallaitive care.” – Zonal Officer 20

“I used to find it very difficult to deal with paediatric patients.. but the session on paediatric palliative care provided me with insights about the issues they face and effective ways of managing them..This will be very helpful to me.” – Zonal Officer 31

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