Palliative Care is all about looking after people with illness that cannot be cured, relieving their suffering and supporting them through difficult times.
Palliative care is an approach which improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing life-threatening illness, through the prevention, assessment and treatment of pain and other physical, psychosocial and spiritual problems….(WHO)
Palliative care is in its infancy in Bangladesh, both conceptually and its practice. Very few services are available to the needy. Bangladesh is estimated to have more than one million patients with cancer at any point of time. Possibly an equal number of patients with other mostly incurable diseases like AIDS, progressive neurological diseases, end stage cardiac and respiratory and other non communicable diseases. The total number of patients in need of palliative care as per the WHO estimate is more than 600,000 in a year.
Bangladesh is in acute need of a well organized ‘National Program in Palliative Care’ addressing the complex policy, advocacy, training, funding ethical issues. Such an initiative need to start with simple effective methods and approaches that can be applied at community level. The concept of ‘Palliative Care as a human right’ need to be developed as a stepping stone to ‘Health Care as a basic human right’.
On October 6th, 2007, Palliative Care Service was formally acknowledged by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University(BSMMU), Dhaka, Bangladesh, the only Medical University of the country to introduce and incorporate the Palliative Care in its service was a major breakthrough. The service was initiated by a group of seven doctors and nurses who was trained in six week Basic Certificate Course in Palliative Medicine from Institute of Palliative Medicine(IPM), Calicut, Kerala, India.
From this year, 2010, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University has introduced the six week program of Basic Certificate Course in Palliative Medicine. This is jointly organized by BSMMU and IPM, Kerala, India. In the six weeks course, expert doctors from IPM will join on the last week along with the doctors of BSMMU to monitor, teach as well as to evaluate the doctors getting the Basic Certificate Course in Palliative Medicine. The first course of BCCPM , which has already started, will be ending on May 22nd, 2010.
Touching Souls International is providing the week long expenses for the expert doctor from Institute of Palliative Medicine to train the doctors of Bangladesh in Palliative Medicine. One of the goal of Touching Souls International is to train more doctors of Bangladesh to be trained in Palliative Care, so in return these doctors can provide their service in palliative care for the patients in need.