transparentgif
 
 

NEWS
Latest News
News Archive
Construction
Upcoming Events

 News Archive: recent < | > earlier
 

NEWS ARCHIVE
 


INDIA, Rishikesh, March 27th, 2016
March Clinic 2016
The third month of the year 2016 once again saw more than 100 patients turning up for the free monthly Ganga Prem Hospice cancer clinic in Rishikesh.

With a majority (54%) of them being cancer or suspected cancer patients, the team had their hands full examining and giving consultations to patients, counseling both patients and their families, dressing wounds, and dispensing medicines.

 
   
The oncologists see patients
The oncologists see patients
Dr Aditi listens to a patient
Dr Aditi listens to a patient
   



 

 

The clinic served patients from a hundred kilometre radius; forty-one of the 108 patients came from towns outside of Rishikesh.

Six GPH home care patients attended the clinic, including one very ill patient with advanced cancer of the buccal mucosa who traveled with his father and uncle from Haridwar on a public bus. Getting caught in a traffic jam on the way, the exhausted patient only managed to arrive by the end of the clinic, but was immediately attended to. 

The clinic was led by senior surgical oncologist Dr. A.K. Dewan and radiation oncologist, Dr. S.K. Sharma. Two dental surgeons from the Seema Dental College, and an ayurvedacharya also saw patients. Dr. Aditi Chaturvedi, the Ganga Prem Hospice palliative care doctor, counseled the existing home care patients, as well as those who may need home care assistance in the future, and those with suspected cancer who were in need of further investigations. Arrangements were made to transport and sponsor six financially challenged patients to the Dehradun cancer hospital for diagnostic tests or palliative treatment.


   
An oral cancer patient with a volunteer dentist
An oral cancer patient with a volunteer dentist
GPH pharmacist with a patient
GPH pharmacist with a patient
   

 

 

Medicines were distributed free of charge, including an expensive anti-cancer medicine that was given out to two underprivileged patients.

The oncologists consulted patients for a variety of cancers including: oral, head and neck, thoracic, gastro-intestinal, genito-urinary malignancies and leukemias. In all, there were fifty-five patients with cancer, with twelve of them being terminally ill. Another four were suspected of having cancer.



     
  The oncologists not only gave consultations but also advised, encouraged and counselled patients. A patient who had had some bad bleeding for several days, and needed facial surgery to reconstruct her nose and remove her eye, was extremely nervous. The consulting oncologist first advised her to calm down as her anxiety could have been making her condition worse. The patient’s bleeding was quickly controlled and her anxiety allayed with the help of extensive counselling by the palliative care doctor and spiritual advisor.
Nani Ma consoles the patient
Nani Ma consoles the patient
 



 

 

An elderly ovarian cancer patient required an x-ray. Since she was very frail and her son only had a motorbike to take her to the diagnostic lab and back, the Hospice vehicle offered to take them, enabling them to get the test done quickly and with minimal discomfort to the patient.

Volunteers continued to assist the clinic management in a big way. Donations were received from patients and visitors. Tea and fruits for patients, and snacks for the Hospice team from the Rajasthani Mishthan Bhandar and other supporters were very welcome as always.


 


INDIA, Rishikesh, March 19th, 2016
Playing Holi at GPH
The Ganga Prem Hospice family met together to play Holi at the clinic premises on the afternoon of Friday the 19th of March. Patients, GPH staff, volunteers and supporters all had a wonderful time.

Inspired by the success of earlier get-togethers, the Ganga Prem Hospice team decided to celebrate the popular Holi festival for the first time. Patients, volunteers and supporters were all invited to join and there was an unexpectedly large turnout.

 
   
Brahmacharis sing bhajans at the event
Brahmacharis sing bhajans at the event
Women and children dance to the music
Women and children dance to the music
   



 

 

Four brahmacharis from a local ashram generously came and sang devotional songs around the theme of the Holi celebrations of Radha and Krishna. The singers were accompanied by harmonium and tabla. They interspersed the bhajans with kirtan, some of which was lively enough to inspire participants to get up and dance!

Refreshments donated by volunteers and supporters were served throughout the event and included sweets and savouries and fruits and fruit juices. The wife of one regular volunteer had made a delicious savoury yoghurt snack while a recently widowed lady bravely cooked and brought traditional Holi sweets for everyone.

Coloured powder was arranged beautifully on little paper plates and at the beginning of the festival everyone received a brightly coloured tilak on their foreheads but true to the Holi celebrations, soon many of the children and younger revelers were playing joyfully and became covered in the pink, yellow and blue powder.


   
Green Hospice!
Green Hospice!
GPH family enjoy Holi
GPH family enjoy Holi
   



 

 

It was really lovely to see the happy laughing faces of so many of the patients and their families, and to witness the deep bonds of uninhibited love between them and the Hospice team.
 


INDIA, India, March 11th, 2016
Yoga Classes for the GPH Team
 A one hour yoga class was conducted by volunteer Nicholas Niamiah for the GPH team on Friday 11th March. It is hoped that the yoga classes which were much enjoyed by all will become a regular feature at the Hospice.

 
   


   

 


INDIA, Rishikesh, March 1st, 2016
Time to Relax at Ganga Prem Hospice
 ‘Time to Relax’ is the name given to the patient and family ‘get-together’ which occurred on 1st March 2016. Patients and their families, including bereaved relatives, were invited by the GPH team to the hospice office in Rishikesh.

The team wanted to give those attending the opportunity to relax together thereby providing the opportunity to take time out from their busy and often stressful lives. Aside from the Christmas party this year, this was the first such event to be held.

 
   
Dr Brenda holds a patient’s grandson
Dr Brenda holds a patient’s grandson
Volunteer Anju serves tea
Volunteer Anju serves tea
   



 

 

A variety of both patients and family members attended the event which continued for 2.5 hours. International volunteers who were skilled in a variety of complementary therapy techniques were invited and several attendees enjoyed a massage. Also present was the wife of a patient who had passed away last year. She is a beautician and had previously offered her services for other patients. She gave several ladies to a facial treatment.
   
Beautician gives a facial at the event
Beautician gives a facial at the event
Attendees listen to a music performance
Attendees listen to a music performance
   



 

 

A local well-reputed classical music group from the Pankaj Music School were requested to perform at the event. The owner of the school had previously had one of his own relatives cared for by the GPH team and willingly accepted the invitation. The people who had come for the afternoon were treated to some exceptional music. Pankaj Suhash played the sitar and his student, Tilak Viswas the flute. Mr Viswas also described the music therapy for cancer patients which he carries out in a local hospital;. The team are very grateful for their contribution which will hopefully continue in the future.

The music continued with a daughter-in-law of a previous patient singing two solos. This was followed by the visiting GPH student nurse from Madrid University, Sara playing her ukulele and singing.


   
Beautician gives a facial at the event
Playing ludo
Attendees listen to a music performance
Group photo at the event
   



 

 

The group continued their relaxing afternoon with snacks and some played the popular board game Ludo. The small costs of the event were covered by local supporters.

The event finished with a group photo and the plan to repeat such an event again in the following months.


 


INDIA, Rishikesh, February 28th, 2016
February Clinic 2016
The February 2016 Cancer Clinic of Ganga Prem Hospice in Rishikesh surpassed, in patient numbers, attendance at the previous month's clinic.

With one hundred and twenty-four patients to see, surgical and radiation oncologists, Drs AK Dewan and SK Sharma, had their hands full. Supported by a medical team of two palliative care specialists and two dental surgeons, four nurses and numerous volunteers, the clinic ran smoothly. Massage and physiotherapy sessions were given to patients by volunteer therapists. Fruits and teas were offered to everyone at the clinic.

 
   
Mr Mehra and Divyae at the registration
Mr Mehra and Divyae at the registration
Dr Sharma examines a patient
 Dr Sharma examines a patient
   



 

 

It is heartening to see the continual growth in support of the clinic endeavour. Every month sees new volunteers and an increasing array of help and offers of assistance come to the Hospice team. Members of a non-profit organisation in Dehradun have started a pick-up and drop-back service to Dehradun patients, so that they can travel easily to the Ganga Prem Hospice clinic from the capital of Uttarakhand, which is forty-five kilometres away. Two patients from Rishikesh have offered their services as volunteers to help in their individual capacity. From abroad came a representative from Yoga Vidya, Germany, an organisation that supports Ganga Prem, visited the clinic as did another long term supporter from the UK who was visiting for the first time. The chief architect of the Ganga Prem Hospice construction project, Prof Yatin Pandya, also visited and observed the clinic work. 
   
Volunteers Nicholas and Saumya at the clinic
Volunteers Nicholas and Saumya at the clinic
Volunteer Anju and intern Sara with a patient
Volunteer Anju and intern Sara with a patient
   



 

 

This month of the fifty-five cancer cases seen, cancer of the buccal mucosa was the most common, with seven patients suffering with this condition. Malignancies of the breast and the tongue were the other predominant cancers seen. Of the ten terminally ill patients attending the clinic, a number were already being attended by GPH Home Care, while others were new to our services. The Home Care patients' cases were discussed in detail by the oncologists and the Home Care teams.
   
Dr Dewan discusses with home care team
Dr Dewan discusses with home care team
Nani Ma does a spiritual distress assessment
Nani Ma does a spiritual distress assessment
   
 


INDIA, Pune, February 12-14th, 2016
GPH at International Palliative Care Conference
Medical staff from Ganga Prem Hospice, Doctors Aditi Chaturvedi, Dominique Cassidy and Brenda Ward attended the 23rd International Association of Palliative Care conference in Pune, 12-14th February 2016.

 

     
  This is third year that the team have had the opportunity to display the work of the hospice to an international audience. This year a talk was given on the use of ‘WhatsApp’, a smartphone application. Use of a ‘WhatsApp Ganga Prem Hospice Group’ allows the team to easily communicate with volunteers and other supporters of GPH. The group is used to share information on hospice activities, request social assistance for patients in need and to discuss palliative care issues in general. 
Dr Aditi speaks at the conference
 



 

 

They also discussed their second recently formed WhatsApp group ‘Family of GPH’ which is used by staff, volunteers and patients and families who are able to communicate in English. This group allows volunteers who have returned to their own countries to stay in touch with each other as well as communicating with those they have been caring for. Medical issues are not discussed within this group; it is mainly filled with jokes and inspiring comments. It allows the meeting of friends on a personal level.

As well as giving a talk in one of the small group presentations, the team was also selected to display two posters in the ‘Poster Display’ section of the conference. One demonstrated how the palliative care team sometimes becomes involved with patients very early in their cancer diagnosis. Those patients who are seen in the monthly cancer camp who need assistance e.g. financially for investigations and treatments or because they need assistance to ensure they attend hospital, an intimidating experience for many, are supported by the hospice team, even before they have a terminal diagnosis. The advantages of becoming involved early in the disease process was shared. This action is in line with recent studies which show that early intervention of palliative care is of benefit.


     
Dr Aditi explains a GPH poster
Dr Aditi explains a GPH poster

The second poster demonstrated the effects of training potential local volunteers. Approximately 17% of those who express interest in volunteering for the hospice actually have become active volunteers. Whilst this may seem a low result, it is in line with other such services. Volunteer training has been intensive for the small number of staff at GPH.  The appropriate number of hours training to ensure maximum recruitment of appropriate volunteers has yet to be established by the team.

 



 

 

The doctors enjoyed attending the conference very much. It was a delight to meet friends from both within India and from overseas and to meet new colleagues. They also met formally with professionals working in the northern states of India to discuss how they could support and take forward palliative care in the north which currently is much less developed than in the south. There was plenty of sharing of ideas and the team returned with much enthusiasm to take them forward.


 

INDIA, Rishikesh, February 8th, 2016
GPH Day of Introspection
The Ganga Prem Hospice Rishikesh team spent a special day together for spiritual exploration and introspection.

On the morning of 8th February 2016, the GPH team met for a different type of morning. The work that we do in palliative care is filled with spiritual purpose: to help, care and support patients. This work is not easy and every day we need to renew our strength to continue to serve others in the best way possible. As a large part of our strength comes from our values, the clearer they are, the easier we can align with them and allow them to support us in our work. Spending some time exploring our own values is an essential aspect of self-care as it improves the quality of our work and reduces the risk of burn out.

The GPH team was fortunate to be welcomed at Aranya Kutir, a very beautiful and peaceful ashram in Tapovan, led by Atmaji. Atmaji has already offered her ashram space for both patients and their families in times of need and now to the team of GPH for events such as these.

Atmaji started by giving a very inspiring talk about the nature of spiritual values and about how they are expressed in our work. Dr Dominique Cassidy, volunteer psychiatrist from Switzerland, continued to facilitate the event.

We engaged in some meditation and light yoga practice on the secluded rooftop overlooking the Himalaya, allowing ourselves to come back to a place of rest and peace within ourselves. From that place of quietness, we then started to question ourselves, individually and then together, about essential questions including “What is meaningful in my life and in my work? What is the essence of what I do? What do I love in Life?”

 

     
  After that, each member of the team wrote on a white board the word which expressed for each of us our deepest value; each word that was written resonated with meaning. The words were Gratitude, Smile, Joy, Equality, Silence,
Compassion, Satisfaction, Connection, Love, Helping, Caring, Spirituality, Humanity, Service, Reassurance, Seva, Being, and Peace. We were all inspired by each other: team work at its best!
Monika and Melani perform at the concert

 



 

 

Finally we all received a small stone, in which we placed our intention, as a way to remember it during challenging moments. Our time in the ashram ended with a moment of silence, filled with those deep words...

...before all going back to the business of our day to day work.

The beauty of a team meeting in shared inspiration...


 


INDIA, Rishikesh, February 6th , 2016
Ganga Prem Hospice Annual Walk
Around fifty people took part in the second annual Ganga Prem Hospice walk in Rishikesh on Saturday 6th February 2016. Following the success of the previous year’s walk, the event was repeated to raise local awareness of the Hospice within the town.  

 
     
Walkers gather outside the Madras café
Walkers gather outside the Madras café

A mixture of local and international supporters, staff, volunteers and those who had seen the event advertised gathered in the morning at Madras Café in Rishikesh. They were also joined by a group of dental students from Seema Dental College. This local dental college is now striving to support GPH in a variety of ways, a wonderful example of local partnership.

 



 

 

The walkers set off together to enjoy a long walk through the town and surrounding environs. Carrying a banner, they used the walk to publicise the event, chatting to local people and pilgrims about the hospice en route.  Donations were collected from both those walking and from the local shop owners met throughout the walk.  The walkers were rewarded with impressive views of the Ganges and Rishikesh. The joys of walking in the foothills of the Himalaya cannot be overstated!


     
  Many of the walkers who chose to take part in the walk were inspiring. Examples include a lady who is nearly eighty who managed the steep hill and a man who experiences a lot of pain with walking who, in spite of pain, still chose to complete the whole circuit. A supporter from Ambala, over three hours drive from Rishikesh also attended to participate and spoke to local people tirelessly about the role of palliative care.
A reassuring hand for the oldest walker
A reassuring hand for the oldest walker
 



 

 

The walk lasted approximately 3 hours. It was a lovely spring day, spirits were high and the occasion was enjoyed by all. The event raised Rs. 8261. Many of those participating resolved to walk again next springtime for such a commendable cause!
   
GPH walkers crossing  the Ganga
GPH walkers crossing the Ganga
GPH walkers enjoy the forest
GPH walkers enjoy the forest
   
 


INDIA, Rishikesh, February 3rd and 10th, 2016
Complementary Therapy Education at GPH
The month of February saw the hospice team extend their knowledge of complementary therapies by inviting both a local and an international supporter of the hospice to share their skills with the team during their weekly team meetings.

 
     
Dr Jayachandran Thampi
Dr Jayachandran Thampi

On 3rd February, Dr Jayachandran Thampi, a specialist in naturopathic medicine, shared his knowledge of naturopathy in a straightforward, entertaining manner. Many of the tips he shared with the team will be useful not only for patient care but to the professionals themselves to ensure healthy living. Naturopathy places an emphasis on eating the correct diet and the role of fasting was explained. 

 



 

 

Dr Jaya has since followed up his talk by forwarding plenty of reading material to the team including how naturopathy can be incorporated into symptom control for palliative care patients. He has also very kindly offered free consultations for patients who would prefer to use naturopathy as part of their treatment schedule.

     
  Nicolas Niamiah,  currently visiting Rishikesh from France, has joined the team as a volunteer complementary therapist this year. He is trained and teaches massage and yoga. The team welcomed Nicolas on 10th February to teach them simple massage techniques. Nicolas first taught the importance of self care for those giving treatments and then gave a practical demonstration of how to massage the arms.
Nicholas Niamiah demonstrates an arm massage
Nicholas Niamiah demonstrates an arm massage
 



 

 

Some of the team have since successfully used this simple but effective technique at home with patients. Nicolas is currently producing a short guide on massage that the team can use to equip themselves in a skill which has great benefit for both patients and their family carers. The importance on providing opportunities to help people relax during the ongoing stresses of a terminal illness cannot be underestimated.

The team hopes to continue to take opportunities to learn about other forms of complementary therapies; a talk on ayurvedic therapy is planned.

 
 News: recent < | > earlier
 
 
Copyright 2013 Ganga Prem Hospice. All Rights Reserved.