IAPC in association with NHM, Trains Doctors and Nurses from Jammu and Ladakh

The Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC), in association with the National Health Mission (NHM), trained 48 Doctors and Nurses from Jammu and Ladakh in the basics of Palliative Care between Friday, 11th March, 2022, to Sunday, 13th March, 2022. The physical training program was conducted at the Government Hospital Gandhinagar, Jammu, by an eminent Faculty panel from IAPC.

Faculty (in alphabetical order) included Sr Hanife MacGamwell, Dr Naine Bhadrala, Sr Pooja Nagar, Dr Priyadarshini Kulkarni, Dr Puneet Rathore, Dr Rajesh Mahajan, Dr Rohit Lahori, Dr Shabnam Chaudary and Dr Sushma Bhatnagar.

The program was co-ordinated (in alphabetical order) by Ms Archana Ganesh, Ms Nisha Krishnadas and Dr Rohit Lahori.

Participants spanned 10 Districts from Jammu (Doda, Jammu, Kathua, Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Reasi, Samba and Udhampur) and 2 from Ladhak (Leh and Kargil).

The session on the first day began by 9:30 a.m. with a small ice breaker session in which participants introduced themselves and shared reasons for their participation. A few of these as below:

“This is important to provide comprehensive health care and till date we don’t know how to treat cancer and geriatric patients. So I am very happy to get this opportunity to learn”

“There is an increasing number of patients who need such services and we don’t have license for opioids. These patients are therefore left in pain. I therefore want to learn about PC and morphine and do something for these patients.”

Dr Sushma Bhatnagar, President, IAPC, presented the ground rules for the training session. All delegates then observed a minute of silence to pay their respects to Dr Cynthia Goh, the co-founder of the CTC program.

The training program was officially inaugurated at 10 a.m. with the arrival of the Chief Guest and the other eminent Guests. We were humbled and honoured when Shri. Vivek Bhardwaj, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department, Jammu and Kashmir, graced the inauguration as the Chief Guest. The inauguration gained added traction when Dr Saleem Ur Rehman, Director General, Family Welfare, MCH and Immunization Jammu and Kashmir, also attended the inauguration.

Dr Narinder Bhatial, Medical Superintendent, Government Hospital Gandhinagar, Jammu, was also present at the inauguration along with Dr Rohit Lahori, State Nodal Officer, NPPC, Jammu.

On this occasion, Shri. Vivek Bhardwaj shared, “With increasing Life expectancies, the need to care for the geriatric population is also increasing. The need to integrate palliative care along with geriatric care is therefore important. With this training program, we wish to begin palliative care in all of our district hospitals. Thank you, Dr Sushma Bhatnagar and team, for supporting this program.”

Dr Saleem Ur Rehman, also echoed similar sentiments when he said, “We have a palliative care ward and a geriatric care facility here at the Government hospital Gandhinagar. We have now got this opportunity to train doctors and nurses from all the districts in Jammu in Palliative Care. We thank Dr Sushma Bhatnagar, who has been the motivational force for all of us”

Dr Sushma Bhatnagar then addressed the gathering in which she shared, “This training program will help initiate palliative care OPDs in all of Jammu’s Districts to provide palliative care to all patients with chronic debilitating diseases and relieve them from pain and provide end of life care. It will also help participants understand how to procure and use opioids”. She concluded by saying, “Course participants should hence forth become advocates of Palliative Care, teach and train other health care professionals in palliative care, effectively integrate palliative care with geriatric care thereby making palliative care accessible to all”

The inauguration was covered by local media.

Sessions covered topics such as Introduction to Palliative Care, Management of Pain, Ethical Issues, Spirituality, Nursing issues, Pediatric Palliative Care, Care of the Elderly, Management of GI Symptoms, End of Life Care, Non Oncological Issues and Emergencies in Palliative Care, communication workshop etc.

Sr Hanife and Sr Pooja supplemented the sessions by sharing relevant Nursing components from the sessions delivered.

Dr Narinder Bhatial, Medical Superintendent, Government Hospital Gandhinagar, Jammu, felicitated Faculty for their time and support towards this training program.

The 2.5 day training concluded with an enriching discussion in which queries were answered.

Some of the feedback from the end of training was articulated as below:

 “There was no concept of Palliative Care even for me as a Doctor.. I want to now set up a palliative care unit.. I know it is not an easy task especially in the government setup.. but I will definitely work hard and make this happen”

 “My practice will definitely change.. I now know that I should not get angry and should have patience with my patients.. I now know how to make them comfortable.”

 “Honestly, I came for this training by force but now I am glad I came as I know that many things in my practise will now definitely change which will help my patients.”

“It was a program which was much needed in the State.. now our patients don’t have to travel long distances as I work in a very peripheral area.. we now have the confidence to take the right decisions.. we learnt so many wonderful concepts”.

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