Palliative Care Week promoting voluntary work to kick-start today

Health Minister Veena George said that Kerala is the first state to announce a palliative care policy.
Kerala Heath Minister Veena George. (File photo)
Kerala Heath Minister Veena George. (File photo)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : As part of the palliative care week, the health department will be organising a campaign for community participation in palliative care in the locality. The campaign aims to encourage everyone in the community to engage in palliative care services for the inpatients around them.

Health Minister Veena George said that Kerala is the first state to announce a palliative care policy. She said that information on the elderly and bedridden patients is being collected as part of the Ardram lifestyle campaign.

“The government is also launching a campaign called ‘Koode’ to promote voluntary work in palliative care in association with the Directorate of Voluntary Services. Anyone willing to support palliative care activities can register with the Directorate,” said the minister.

Those who register will be given skill-based palliative care training with the support of palliative care units in the government, non-governmental and community-based organisations.

The department has planned week-long programmes in connection with the palliative care week from January 15 to 21. This includes get-togethers of patients and relatives, awareness classes, volunteer training programs, and Kudumbashree special neighbourhood meetings.

There will be cultural programmes in care homes/daycare centres, formation of ward-level volunteer teams and linking of inpatients with volunteers, completion of inpatient registration, vocational rehabilitation training for patients, special programs for students in medical and nursing schools and colleges, etc.

Apart from conducting awareness classes in schools and colleges, all employees in government and private hospitals will be given one-hour awareness sessions in batches.There are 1,141 primary palliative care units in Kerala covering all the gram panchayats, municipalities and corporations in the government sector.

Under the health department, there are 113 secondary-level units in major hospitals and 231 units in community health centres. Eight medical colleges, RCC and MCC have palliative care units.

Apart from this, there are 44 secondary-level units under the Department of Indian System of Medicine and 18 secondary units under the department of homeopathy. More than 500 units in the NGO/CBO sector provide home-based medical care and nursing care.

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The New Indian Express