The opening of the first day care palliative cancer centre in the city has come as a relief for cancer patients. Governor KK Paul inaugurated the centre at Shastri Nagar on Haridwar Road here on Saturday. The centre is a joint initiative of the Himalayan University and Rotary Club. According to WHO, a palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness.
At the centre here, patients will be provided relief from pain and other distressing symptoms under the care of trained nurses and doctors. The day care unit will also run an evening clinic for cancer patients while during daytime, patients will stay under the care of trained palliative staff. It is estimated that Uttarakhand has thousands ofcancer patients but till date, the health department has not gathered specific data in regard to number of oncology patients. Incidentally, India is home to 2.4 million cancer patients and currently, barely 1% of patients are able to get pain and palliative care. And shockingly, Uttarakhand doesn’t have even a single government set-up where such patients can be given palliative care.
According to experts, terminally ill people are the most overlooked category of patients under the Indian healthcare system but it needs attention. Exhorting on involving youth in social entrepreneurship, governor Paul said, “After one stage even drugs are not effective. That’s where the role of youth needs to be ensured so that the future of our nation goes in the hands of sensitive and responsible people. India needs to take a cue from the US to involve its youth into social entrepreneurship.”
He lauded the works done by Swami Rama Himalyan University and International Rotarian Club’s Dehradun branch for jointly contributing towards the cause. Governor urged college and university authorities in the state to direct their students to work for social and humanitarian causes.
Speaking about the need for setting up palliative units in Uttarakhand to meet the need of terminally ill patients, Dr.Vijay Dhasmana, VC, Swami Rama Himalyan University, said, “Oncology care is technology driven and quite expensive, often beyond the reach of common man. Hence the staff at this centre will focus on this palliative care enabling a switch from high tech to low tech care and yet enable better quality of life without compromising the longevity, more so during end of life for the patients. All the healthcare centres of the state should focus on coming up with such units which cater to the needs of terminally ill patients.”
Date: 26th June, 2016