A Twinning Program in Palliative Care

Program: Clinical Studies
Coordinators: Robin Love
Other INCTR Participants:
Collaborators: Nanaimo palliative care community
Branch(es): INCTR India
Location: Single Country
Country(s): Nepal
Institutions: Bhaktapur Cancer Care Hospital, Katmandu
Mid Island Hospice, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital palliative care unit, Nanaimo Home and Community Care, and Vancouver Island University Nursing Program
Background Information: During a visit by INCTR's Palliative Care team to the Bhaktapur Cancer Care Hospital (BCCH), the medical staff at the center expressed a need to learn and implement palliative care. Without financial support it was considered that the program at BCCH would have limited success.
Objectives: Develop a Palliative Care Program at the Bhaktapur Cancer Care Hospital
Methods: Create a twinning program in which experienced palliative care experts on Vancouver Island work with Bhaktapur Cancer Care Hospital to provide training and education. Some training to be provided by the recently established Hospice in Hyderabad. In essence, a twinning Program between Nanaimo Palliative Care Community in Vancouver Island would be established
Progress: Upon learning of the INCTR visit, and hearing of the suffering of the Nepali patients, members of the Nanaimo palliative care community arranged a twinning partnership between Nanaimo’s Palliative Care community (Mid Island Hospice, Nanaimo Regional General Hospital palliative care unit, Nanaimo Home and Community Care, and Vancouver Island University Nursing Program) and BCCH. The goal was to provide long-term support for the center. The Nanaimo community has provided modest and reliable financial support for the BCCH palliative care program – initially for staff salaries and later for a ward dedicated to palliative care. It has also been able to send funds to provide morphine and other medications for patients who cannot afford it. Funding has been provided to support BCCH staff to travel to Hyderabad for education, and in 2015, Dr. Chadani Vaidya spent 1 month in Nanaimo for extra training. Annual site visits have been made to Nepal and the focus of the visits has been to teach practical skills related to palliative care. The partnership has been on-going for 8 years.

The earthquake of 2015 damaged the Palliative care unit building, and they have had to move into a temporary, crowded space in the main part of the hospital. The support agreement has been renewed for another 3 years, to support them through the many difficulties caused by the earthquake. This partnership was built on and has supported the work of the INCTR Palliative Care Program and is increasing the sustainability of palliative care in Nepal. For more information, go to:

Partnersincompassion.com or contact Dr. Robin Love at rrlove@shaw.ca
Future Plans: Continue to assist in the development of palliative care in the Bhaktapur region
Month: 01
Year: 2015
Last Update: 10/2015

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