- Meetings with the secretaries of three ministries (Women and Child Development, Health and Family Welfare, and Social justice and Disability) helped us sensitise various government departments. This also enabled us to train doctors and accredited social health activists (ASHA) across the country.
- At the request of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, we translated the Manual for ASHA workers from Marathi to English and handed it over to the ministry. In turn, the ministry is translating it into various Indian languages for use all over the country.
- Following our campaign, the Ministry of Women and Child Development included children with life-limiting conditions in the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS). Now, the District Child Welfare Officer can approve a monthly sponsorship of Rs 2000 for children in need with life-limiting conditions and their families, for various needs. This pilot project is already on at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai and will be extended to other centres
- Under the state ICPS programme, the government of Maharashtra added “children with life-limiting conditions” to the category of “children in need and protection”. Needy children can now get a monthly sponsorship of Rs 2000.
- The state government extended palliative care services to eight more districts, under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). A doctor and nurse have been appointed in each district to take the project forward.
- The CPC project sensitised the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the state ministries for health, medical education, women and child development about the needs and problems of children and their caregivers. It is important to ensure easier availability of morphine for palliative use. There is also a need to integrate palliative care with the existing health care system and to make it an integral part of medical curriculum.
- Our interactions with bodies like the Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS), the Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society (MSACS), the FDA and various hospitals in Maharashtra helped to start palliative care service delivery in various parts of the state. CPC is working with the telemedicine project of UNICEF at Paediatric Centre of Excellence, LTMG Hospital, to train the counsellors of MSACS all over the state through video conferencing.
We partnered with NGOs and media houses in spreading awareness about the need for palliative care among children.
- The Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) helped us sensitise paediatricians about the need for palliative care in children.
- We prepared a Child Protection Policy document. We shared this with our partner organisations for implementation and publicity.
- Apart from publicity through the media, we used street plays to spread awareness in the community. Students of MSc (Nursing) from Tata Memorial Centre conducted six street plays at Jawhar. They guided the local college students to perform in the local dialect.
Modifying law to ease morphine availability
Working in tandem with colleagues in IAPC, the CPC team met FDA officials and apprised them of the genuine need for morphine and the importance of making it more easily available for pain management. The team met Dedriek Lohman, Acting Director, Human Rights Watch and briefed him on the issue of morphine availability before his meeting with Suresh Shetty, Minister, Health and Family Welfare and Manohar Naik, Minister, FDA.
Much to the joy of all those involved in palliative care, the Indian parliament passed the NDPS amendment on February 21, 2014.
CPC initiated training of doctors and health care workers in the use of morphine, particularly in a palliative care setting.