Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Only 0.4% cancer patients avail of palliative care: Expert

Gist: The Pune based CIPLA center offers 15 days palliative care to cancer and other patients free of charge and trains the caregiver staying with the patient.
TNN, Oct 13, 2010, 03.08am IST
Tags:Cipla Palliative Care And Training Centre
PUNE: While educating citizens about how palliative care can provide relief to cancer patients, medical director of Cipla Palliative Care and Training Centre (CPCTC) Priyadarshini Kulkarni said that only around .4 per cent people under treatment for the condition in India are availing this therapy due to lack of awareness.

At any point of time, around 2.5 million people in the country suffer from cancer. Of this, only 1.6 million people are under treatment and only .4 per cent find relief through palliative care. Almost two lakh new cases are diagnosed every year and 70 per cent of these cases are detected in advanced stages, said Kulkarni.

She was speaking during the walkathon organised to create awareness about the therapy to mark the World Palliative Care Day on Saturday. It was attended by around 350 people, comprising doctors, nurses, students, members of different clubs, patients and their families. "The objective of the World Palliative Care Day is to create awareness about how this therapy can help relieve the pain and suffering associated with chronic conditions like cancer. It benefits not just the patients but also their family," she added.

After the walk, volunteers of the Cipla Centre performed a skit to educate the audience about the need to provide palliative care and how its holistic approach can address the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of the patients. Patients' relatives also shared their experiences on how this therapy had improved the quality of their lives.

The World Health Organisation recognises this therapy as an integral and essential part of comprehensive care of life-threatening illnesses like cancer, HIV and other conditions.

Managing trustee of CPCTC S V Iyer said, "Our centre has been providing free care for the last 13 years, but the 50-bed facility was never full due to lack of awareness. The programmes initiated for the World Palliative Care Day helps us spread related awareness across the country."

As per this year's Sharing the Care' theme, CPCTC educated a group of villagers at Wadegaon in Solapur district with a skit and a presentation, thus promoting this therapy in rural areas. A musical recital by well-known singer and composer Salil Kulkarni was also organised.

Read more: Only 0.4% cancer patients avail of palliative care: Expert - The Times of India



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