"Next week we will begin the discussions with IPM, Sri Aurobindo Society and other collaborators on structured courses for palliative care," said Dr T S Ravikumar, director, JIPMER. "We will have another programme on palliative care in the first week of February - it will either be a similar one like today or a programme on advanced sensitization - and we will take it from there on."
The course, when introduced, will also take inputs from global syllabi on palliative care. "There are courses available in the US and Australia for example on palliative care and we will use our learning from those as well," said Kumar. "The course on palliative care will be part of a larger footprint on Advanced Illness Management (AIM)," he added.
To that end, JIPMER will also seek inputs from international institutions like the Harvard School of Public Health with which it already has an MoU. "The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in the US has one of the strongest palliative care units in the world," said Kumar. "We are inviting some of the faculty from there to collaborate with us on this to harness what success they have had and see what JIPMER can contribute," he added.
Palliative care relieves suffering and improves the quality of life of people afflicted with chronic and incurable diseases like AIDS, cancer, heart problems and dementia. Palliative care responds to the patient's physical, emotional, social, psychological and spiritual needs and continues its support to the family in bereavement.
The Sanjeevan project aims to develop a system of community based palliative care based on India's deep spiritual tradition and using best practices from all over the world. The project will establish a system of care first in Puducherry and then expand it to other regions. It will involve sensitizing the community through the panchayats and training doctors, nurses and primary healthy workers, linking up with local medical institutions and establishing day care and out patient facilities both for modern medicine as well as alternative medicine practitioners.