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INDIA, Rishikesh, August 28th, 2016
August Clinic 2016
At the Ganga Prem Hospice August Cancer Clinic oncologists Dr AK Dewan and SK Sharma from the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute, Delhi, examined sixty-five patients diagnosed with cancer, with a further two patients presenting with symptoms of the disease.

The two oncologists were supported by a palliative care doctor, a dental surgeon from the Seema Dental College, and an Ayurvedacharya as well as two GPH nurses. Ten patients of the sixty-five were suffering malignancies of tongue cancer, whilst eight patients had breast cancer.  



Dr Aditi discusses a home care patient with Dr Dewan
Dr Aditi discusses a home care patient with Dr Dewan
Dr Sharma looks at a patient’s reports
Dr Sharma looks at a patient’s reports

 

 

With sixteen patients being terminally ill, the Ganga Prem Hospice team had a busy time, the patients and their families being in need of extensive counselling. One female patient arrived in such a critical condition that she had to be taken home by the Ganga Prem Hospice ambulance after the doctors and counsellors had explained gently to the grieving family that she only had a matter of hours left to live. She expired the next day.

Volunteers managed the running of the clinic alongside the Ganga Prem Hospice staff members. The team organised patients’ registration and waiting times, and guided patients to their consulting doctors, scanned prescriptions and dispensed medicines. The counseling of patients and their families and assessment of their needs in order to arrange appropriate support included determining whether patients needed to be given home care.



Sister Mamta removes a patient’s bandage
Sister Mamta removes a patient’s bandage
Mr Aarya dispenses medicines
Mr Aarya dispenses medicines

 

 


Support in kind continued at the clinic, and included provision of fans and canopies for the patient waiting area. Refreshments of fruits, fruit juices, and tea were sponsored by the Rajasthani Mishthaan Bhandaar of Rishikesh. A recently bereaved family brought fruit to be distributed to the patients while another couple, whose daughter had been a GPH patient for the last 5 years, brought a full donation box which they had kept at their house during the days following her death. The couple profusely thanked each member of the team for all that GPH had done to support them as a family as well as providing medical care and nursing for their 27 year old daughter. Their visit was very moving for both staff and volunteers who had become especially close to the family over the final few months.


 

INDIA, Rishikesh, August 28th, 2016
GPH Talk at Seema Dental College
Ganga Prem Hospice Medical Director, Dr AK Dewan, gave a talk at Seema Dental College students in the early morning of Sunday, 28th August.
 


Dr Dewan delivers his lecture
Dr Dewan delivers his lecture
Dental students listen attentively
Dental students listen attentively

 

 


Dr Dewan, who is an oncologist specializing in head and neck cancers delivered the one hour lecture to the dental students on screening for oral cancer. In his talk, entitled ‘Premalignant Lesions of Oral Cancer – Detect Early, Treat Early’, Dr Dewan discussed the role of dentists in oral cancer screening and described various precancerous lesions like erythroplakia, leukoplakia and submucosal fibrosis. The lecture was well attended attracting over 100 under graduate and post graduate students.

 


INDIA, Dehradun, August 12th, 2016
GPH Talk at Neuro-Oncology Conference
Ganga Prem Hospice palliative care doctor, Dr Aditi Chaturvedi, gave a talk at a one day Neuro-Oncology Conference organized by the Radiation Oncology Department of the Cancer Research Institute of the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust. 

The thirty minute lecture entitled 'Recent Updates in Hospice and Palliative Care in Neuro-oncology' was delivered at the Auditorium of Swami Ram Himalayan University on the 12th August.

Dr Aditi speaking to 50 neurologists, oncologists and cancer nurses emphasized the need for hospice and palliative care for brain tumour patients. Whilst there is a need to try for cure, Dr Aditi said, there is also a need to accept death when cure is no longer possible and to turn positively towards end of life care.

Dr Aditi cited the example of a GPH patient, Mr RS suffering from Glioblastoma multiforme and how palliative care had made a huge difference in his life. He had felt abandoned by his doctors and family but the visits from the GPH team had helped to relieve his anxiety, headache, constipation, nausea and vomiting and had also helped him to discuss his fears of death and plans for future care.

Dr Aditi emphasized how important quality of life is and how we must help patients to live well before they die.



 


INDIA, Dehradun, August 5th, 2016
GPH Clinical Team Attends CME
The Ganga Prem Hospice clinical team attended a palliative care CME at the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust in Dehradun on Friday, 5th August, 2016.
 





 

 

A continued medical education programme on palliative care for doctors and nurses was conducted at HIHT on 5th August. Talks were given by two doctors, Dr Cynthia Goh (from Singapore) and Dr David Brumley (from Australia), who were both representatives of Asia Pacific Hospice Network(APHN). Dr Mayank Gupta of Sri Mahant Indresh Medical College, in collaboration with AIIMS, New Delhi and the Govt. of India has led the initiative to start palliative care at two medical colleges in Uttarakhand, the Cancer Research Institute at HIHT and the Doon Medical College.

Dr David Brumley has expressed his interest in visiting Ganga Prem Hospice in Rishikesh.



 


INDIA, Rishikesh, July 31st, 2016
July Clinic 2016
There was a steady flow of people on July 31st, 2016, when a total of seventy-one patients came for consultations at the Ganga Prem Hospice cancer clinic in Rishikesh.

A few rain showers marked the day, the second last day of the annual "kaanwad" pilgrimage when the Rishikesh and Haridwar areas are visited by millions of people throwing traffic and movement into chaos in the twin towns. Many patients had to forego their visit to the clinic owing to the impossible traffic conditions, even so there were patients that came from far-away places such as Sahranpur, Roorkee, Tehri Garhwal, as well as more local travellers from Dehradun and Haridwar.



Dr Dewan examines a patient’s mouth
Dr Dewan examines a patient’s mouth
Dr Saxena with a patient
Dr Saxena with a patient
   

 

 

The Ganga Prem Hospice team made it to the clinic arriving both from within Rishikesh and other cities. Oncologists Dr AK Dewan and Dr SK Sharma took a longer train route, travelling via Dehradun. Palliative care doctor Aditi Chaturvedi and the rest of the team also arrived early, as did some new volunteers who were coming to the clinic for the first time.

Visiting Palliative Care doctor Brenda Ward assisted with consultations and appraising patients' palliative care plans. As there were far fewer patients than usual the counsellors were able to give plenty of time to patients, offering support to those suffering depression due to their condition. One patient in particular was counseled for a long time. He expressed his feelings by saying, ‘I can’t understand why you all give me so much love; it’s very hard to bear.” He said he was afraid that he might breakdown into tears but in fact after being able to lighten his heart in that way, he left the clinic full of smiles.


Dr Aditi and Nani Ma counsel a depressed patient
Dr Aditi and Nani Ma counsel a depressed patient
Volunteer pharmacist Mr Arya gives out medicines
Volunteer pharmacist Mr Arya gives out medicines
   

 

 

There were thirty-five patients with cancer while four others were noted as suspected cases needing further investigations. Eight Home Care patients attended the clinic for oncological advice and one new terminally ill patient was added to the home care programme.

Cancers of the breast and the tongue were most common, with six and four patients of the two malignancies respectively. The other cancers found were buccal mucosa, cheek, larynx, lip, neck, oesophagus, vocal chord, thyroid, pyroform fossa, skin, myeloma, melanoma, ovary, prostate, rectum, endometrium, and Ewings Sarcoma.



 


INDIA, Dehradun, July 29th, 2016
GPH Talk at Nursing College
As part of the Ganga Prem Hospice and Seema Dental College project to make known the need for palliative care among the youth of Uttarakhand, an introductory talk was given at the Combined Institute of Medical Science in Dehradun on 29th July.

On Friday afternoon of 29th July, Dr Ranjeeta of Seema Dental College gave a one hour talk on Palliative Care to students of the Combined Institute of Medical Science nursing college in Dehradun. The eighty students who attended included GNM nursing students as well as those studying for their Bsc and Msc in Nursing.



Dr Ranjeeta speaking to the students
Dr Ranjeeta speaking to the students
Dr Aditi and Dr Ranjeeta with the students
Dr Aditi and Dr Ranjeeta with the students
   

 

 

It is hoped that volunteer students from the Institute will join the GPH Home Care team in Dehradun after September of this year.

Students from the Care Nursing College in Haridwar, where a similar programme was conducted in May, have already started to accompany the Hospice Home Care team on patient visits in Haridwar. As there have been so many students interested in volunteering, two students at a time take turns to accompany the team on Wednesdays and Fridays.


 


INDIA, Narendra Nagar, July 17th, 2016
GPH at Ananda Spa Resort
Following an invitation from Ananda Spa resort, the award winning, luxurious resort just outside of Rishikesh, volunteers from GPH visited on 17th July, 2016 to talk to a group of the Spa's complementary therapists about the work of the hospice.



Dr Brenda and Menakshi address the therapists
Dr Brenda and Menakshi address the therapists
Ananda Spa therapists listen to the talk
Ananda Spa therapists listen to the talk
   

 

 

The spa therapists will soon be receiving training from an Australian group who specialise in providing complementary therapy to cancer patients. Once trained, it is hoped that some of the spa therapists may be interested in volunteering to provide therapies such as massage and gentle yoga to patients at home, in the monthly cancer camps or in the new inpatient facility once opened.

Volunteers Menakshi Goenka and Dr Brenda shared a video of the work of GPH with the therapists, spoke of the benefits of volunteering and answered questions by the therapists.

The visit was enjoyed by both the twenty therapists at the meeting and the volunteers. One therapist resolved to start helping GPH immediately and so was invited to attend the July cancer camp to gain an understanding of the work.

It is hoped that a fruitful relationship will develop between Ananda Spa and GPH.


 


INDIA, Rishikesh, June 26th, 2016
June Clinic 2016
There were some very needy patients at the Ganga Prem Hospice June 26, 2016, cancer clinic in Rishikesh.

On a humid and hot day one hundred and six patients made it to the clinic, some so sick that they had to be picked up by the Ganga Prem Hospice vehicle from Haridwar and brought to the clinic. Amongst those needing transportation was a twelve year old girl with a brain tumour who was accompanied by her mother. Another patient who was brought to the clinic was suffering from thyroid cancer. Both were receiving treatment from Ganga Prem Hospice Home Care team. Other seriously ill patients arrived in their own vehicles but were brought from the road in wheelchairs as they could not walk. These included our long time patient Monika and a new patient who was fighting for breath and whose condition required emergency treatment which he immediately received from the GPH medical team at the clinic.



-The little girl massages her mother’s head
The little girl massages her mother’s head
Sister Philomena speaks with a distressed patient
Sister Philomena speaks with a distressed patient
   

 

 

Another terminally ill patient was a 35 year old woman with cancer of her para-nasal sinus. She had heard of Ganga Prem Hospice from a neighbour and braved the dense Sunday morning traffic to travel from Jwalapur in Haridwar to the clinic, along with her husband and youngest daughter of six. She was in such discomfort that she couldn't stop crying. The medical team gave her a pain relief medication and the little girl massaged her mother's head to help her. After resting for one hour and being monitored her pain had not yet been relieved so the analgesic was upgraded and soon she felt considerably better. 




  With sixty-four patients suffering from cancer and another four suspected cases, the two oncologists, Drs AK Dewan and SK Sharma had their hands full. They were assisted by two senior gynaecologists, Dr Rupali Dewan from Delhi and Dr Rajesh Saxena from Rishikesh. A volunteer Ayurvedacharya and a dental surgeon from the Seema Dental College were also present. 
Dr Rupali jokes with a female patient
Dr Rupali jokes with a female patient
 

 

 


The Ganga Prem Hospice palliative care doctor, Aditi Chaturvedi, counseled patients and was kept busy as there were sixteen patients with advanced stage cancer at the clinic.

The widow of a GPH Home Care patient attended the clinic and shyly asked if it was alright for her to come to the clinics as she said she missed the team so much now that her husband had passed away and wanted to spend time with everyone again. She said she felt the team to be like close family.

As always, volunteers helped with a lot of the work at the clinic. Those who did not assist the medical team directly supported the clinic serving tea and snacks and wheeling patients in and out of the clinic.

 


INDIA, Rishikesh, June 25th, 26th , 2016
Pain and Palliative Care Conference in Dehradun
After a great deal of preparation and organisation, the last weekend of June saw the first pain and palliative care conference in Uttarakhand. This was deemed a historical event, proving that palliative care has now been recognised as an important aspect of health care in the region. 

The event, the 'International Update on Pain Management & Palliative Care Advances' was organised by Dr Mayank Gupta, a pain and palliative care doctor from the Sri Mahant Indresh Hospital in Dehradun, the capital city of the state of Uttarakhand. Dr Mayank shares the same passion for palliative care as the GPH team who were only too willing to support his endeavour to raise the profile of palliative care in the region.






  All were delighted with the support that other well recognised  palliative care doctors from around India provided including Dr Rajgopal, now referred to as ' the grandfather of palliative care in India'. The faculty also included speakers from the United Kingdom. The event was mainly sponsored by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) which recognised the importance of the conference. 
GPH team with Dr Rajgopal (centre) and Dr Anne Thyle
GPH team with Dr Rajgopal and Dr Anne Thyle
 



 

 

The event started on Saturday 25th  June with a workshop on opioids, the name given to strong painkillers such as morphine. This was an essential part of the conference. Opioid prescribing has for many years been very difficult due to legal issues and as a result, most doctors in India are now reluctant to prescribe.  Although the laws around prescribing were changed in 2014 to ensure easier prescribing for those suffering from pain, the new rules are poorly understood and so the situation for those cancer patients and others in India remains dire. The aim of the workshop was to answer questions and concerns from the attendees. The GPH clinical team were all in attendance.

The audience was reminded of poignant facts by palliative care physicians Dr Sushma Bhatnagar (Delhi) and Dr Rajgopal (Kerela).  Although India is the third highest producer of opium, the plant from which morphine is produced, most is exported to the West and only a very small percentage of those in India requiring morphine ever receive it. The WHO estimate is that there are approximately 1 million cancer patients in India suffering from moderate to severe pain. Consequently, most dying from cancer will experience uncontrolled pain.  There was also the reminder that the United Nation states that allowing severe pain and suffering is paramount to degrading and inhumane treatment and therefore currently, by not ensuring patients have access to morphine, India can be said to be contravening UN regulations.  The need to train doctors, student doctors and nurses in using morphine was also emphasised.





Dr Aditi receives momento from the Chief Minister
Dr Aditi receives momento from the Chief Minister

Dr Adit Chaturvedi from Ganga Prem Hospice described the realistic situation at present in working in palliative care in the state and the immense need to ease suffering. She reminded all that any of the audience, or their families could develop terminal cancer and need pain relief. Suffering is not restricted to the poor, even those with money can die an agonising death because they are unable to source the required strong pain killers which are usually required to treat cancer pain. 

 



 

 

A talk by Dr Nandini Vallath from the Indo-American  Cancer Association addressed issues relating to the abuse and diversion of morphine. This is a topic many have concerns about. All palliative care prescribers present from the palliative care field both within India and internationally, emphasised from their experiences working with palliative patients that abuse of morphine in these situations is extremely rare. They also agreed it is the physicians' responsibility to prescribe carefully and that control measures for opioids are required as is the situation throughout the world.

The new laws around prescribing were explained by the chief guest for the occasion, Mr SN Dash, undersecretary of the office of Narcotics Control of the Government of India. Also present was Mr Kumar, a representative of the Drug Controller of Uttarakhand. He was handed a petition, signed by many senior doctors of the region, requesting greater availability of opioids in the state by ensuring the new NDPS 2015 amendment act is acted upon.

It is sincerely hoped that this workshop was a step forward in ensuring patients have access to pain relief, a basic human right and that those present will continue to strive for this.

Sunday 26th  June saw the main conference which was extremely well attended by mainly health care professionals. This was a day filled with short talks from a variety of specialists. As well as palliative care, the subject of pain was discussed in more detail.


Dr Dewan speaks at the conference
Dr Dewan speaks at the conference
GPH volunteer Sister Dana at the conference
GPH volunteer Sister Dana at the conference
   

 

 

The faculty was well represented by the GPH team:

DR AK Dewan discussed the role of surgery in palliative care patients, emphasising the need to only carry out surgery if it ensures better quality of life,

Dr Aditi Chaturvedi taught on palliative care emergencies,

Dr Brenda Ward from England discussed how a good death could be achieved at home, emphasising the role of the hospice, the need to work as a team and how to recognise the dying process,

Dr Abir Doger, a pain anaesthetist also from England and who also works in palliative care taught on his speciality, the use of interventions in pain relief in cancer,

SIster Dana Pieretti, a hospice nurse from the USA described her role as a palliative care nurse.

The event coincided with the GPH monthly cancer camp therefore Drs Dewan and Aditi were required to be at the camp in Rishikesh in the morning and speak at this conference in the afternoon, a good achievement and a busy weekend for them both!

Further presentations included teaching on the role of palliative care in non cancer conditions including dementia ( Dr Rajgopal),  HIV and heart failure ( Dr Anne Thyle) and the importance of palliative care from an oncologist perspective ( Dr Saini from the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust). Also addressed were the many ethical issues arising in palliative care, the need for palliative care in the Intensive Care Unit and the introduction of palliative care into the non government sector.

A description of the National Palliative Care Program was given by Dr Rajgopal. Legal aspects were again addressed.

Alongside the eminent speakers, also present for some of the day was the state Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Mr Harish Rawatji. In his inaugural speech, he too reinforced to all the need to ensure palliative care for patients with terminal illnesses. The faculty all received momentos from him for their endeavours.





  The event finished with a banquet arranged by the IMA. All those attending the conference were treated to an evening of good food, music and entertainment. Everyone agreed the conference was a success and enjoyed the evening celebrations! Developing stronger links between the GPH team with eminent palliative care physicians from around India was another boon.
GPH team at the banquet
GPH team at the banquet
 



 

 

It is hoped that this event has changed people's opinions, increased their awareness of the need for pain control and palliative care, ease concerns about morphine prescribing and inspired some to work in the field and to take forward the endeavours of the small team of GPH and others who are passionate about palliative care. Time will tell! 
 


INDIA, Dehradun, June 9th, 2016
GPH Finds Home for Destitute Patient
The Ganga Prem Hospice was requested by Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust to find a home for a destitute patient who had been operated on at their hospital.



Leena in the GPH ambulance
Leena in the GPH ambulance
Sister Priyanka introduces Leena at Prem Dham
Sister Priyanka introduces Leena at Prem Dham
   

 

 

Leena Kumari is a 50 year old destitute lady with advanced ovarian cancer. She had undergone surgery at the HIHT cancer research institute but had nowhere to go after recovering from the operation. The GPH palliative care team were asked by the hospital authorities to find a place of stay for her after discharge. As the GPH inpatient facility is not yet ready the team searched for an alternative refuge for her. Finally she was accepted at the Prem Dham old age home in Dehradun where she was taken by the GPH team on 9th June.
 


INDIA, Chakrata, June 4th and 5th, 2016
GPH at Health Camp in Chakrata
Ganga Prem Hospice palliative care doctor and nurses assisted Rajiv  Gandhi Cancer Institute doctors at a health camp in Jaunsar, Chakrata, Uttarakhand on the first weekend of June. 





   

 

 

The camp was organized by Jaunsar Bawar Tribal Welfare Society  and a team of doctors from RGCI in Delhi were assisted by the GPH palliative care team in screening 115 of the patients for cancer at the camp which was held at Jaunsar, Chakrata in the Himalayan foothills. The camp is an annual affair and was attended by approximately 1200 patients from the nearby villages. Most of the patients had general ailments or eye problems however forty pap smears were taken at the camp and three other suspected cancer cases were identified. Three patients suffering from cancer received consultations and notes were taken by the GPH team who will follow up on the patients with cancer and those who were suspected of having the disease.



 


INDIA, Rishikesh, May 29th, 2016
May Clinic 2016
There were nine doctors with eight different specialties offering their services to patients at the May 29, 2016, charitable Cancer Clinic of Ganga Prem Hospice.

A hundred and one patients were seen were seen at clinic, those with cancer and suspected cancer being in the majority (forty-eight malignancies and seven suspected cases) comprising fifty-four percent of the total number of patients seen. That Rishikesh has been experiencing squalls and thunderstorms, with one taking place just the previous night resulting in fallen trees and snapped electricity lines, did not seem to be a deterrent to patients who managed to arrive at the clinic even from some far-away places.



  Radiation oncologist Dr SK Sharma led the oncological consultations and along with Otorhinolaryngologist Dr Jai Gopal Sharma, saw the majority of patients. They were assisted by gynaecologist Dr Rajesh Saxena, Ayurvedacharya Dr JP Rathi, two dental surgeons from the Seema Dental College, Dr Aditi Chaturvedi palliative care, visiting volunteer surgeon Dr Daniel Serrano Pena and Dr Harish Chaturvedi who led a meditation session. 
Dr JG Sharma speaks to a patient’s carer
Dr JG Sharma speaks to a patient’s carer
 



 

 

Ten Home Care patients were among those who came for consultations. A patient with cancer of the stomach had been brought by her family all the way from TehriGarhwal, in the mountains. One of the first patients to arrive at the clinic, she was in considerable pain but felt better with an intravenous drip and medicine.  She was conversing normally by the end of the clinic. The doctors spent a lot of time with the woman, giving her ample attention.

   
A patient is given an IV drip
A patient is given an IV drip
Dr SK Sharma with the elderly patient
Dr SK Sharma with the elderly patient
   

 

 

Another Home Care patient who is elderly and very frail, was brought to the clinic by her family. Ganga Prem Hospice Home Care Team leader, Dr Aditi Chaturvedi discussed her case with oncologist Dr SK Sharma.  As is his way, putting his patient at ease straight away, Dr Sharma held the woman's hand and repeatedly reassured her.

The mother of a very young patient who had been seen by the Hospice at the previous month's clinic in Haridwar and whose MRI scan was sponsored by Ganga Prem Hospice, came to the clinic for further advice about whether her child's brain tumour could be treated. Ganga Prem Hospice has reassured the mother, who is a financially underprivileged widow, that they will help with the treatment advised by the oncologist for the little girl.

Patients who needed dental and oral care advice were referred to the two senior dental surgeons from the Seema Dental College. The two doctors, as well as members of the Hospice team took some time to participate in a meditation session, which was coordinated by Dr Harish Chaturvedi.

The entire team of Ganga Prem Hospice stayed involved in the clinic and with the patients throughout the clinic hours. A destitute man came to the clinic asking for medicine for nausea and fainting. He was a pilgrim who had arrived in Rishikesh from Punjab. Ayurvedacharya Dr Rathi attended to him. When the patient informed that he had not eaten for two days, the Hospice team gave him fruits and drinks. He sat in courtyard eating apples. Some clothes from the office stock were selected for him as he appeared in a bedraggled state. After a little while, he seemed to have calmed down from his state of nervous excitement.

   
Dr Rathi with the destitute patient
Dr Rathi with the destitute patient
Sister Priyanka with a patient’s daughter
Sister Priyanka with a patient’s daughter
   

 

 

Volunteers handled the clinic operations ably. Apart from health care professionals who joined the clinic, construction site supervision volunteer MridulDewan also attended the clinic and assisted with calling in of patients.

Patients were given refreshments of hot tea, and the Ganga Prem Hospice team also distributed the snacks and fruit juice provided by our patron and neighbour the Rajasthani Mishthan Bhandar. The Hindustan Offset Press of Haridwar assisted with the clinic publicity by printing cancer awareness pamphlets free of charge.

 


INDIA, Rishikesh, May 24th, 2016
New Home Care Vehicle Donated to GPH
Mrs Sarada Chiruvolu of New Jersey, USA, has donated a new air-conditioned vehicle for Ganga Prem Hospice home care programme.



GPH drivers with the new jeep
GPH drivers with the new jeep

In grueling heat of 45C it is no joke to be travelling all day in a small van with only a six inch fan attached to the front dash board but that is what one of the Ganga Prem Hospice home care teams was doing for six days a week until  the 24th May 2016. Mrs Sarada Chiruvolu of Princeton, New Jersey, was approached for help and without any hesitation she has arranged for a new air conditioned jeep for the team. The TUV  seven seater jeep arrived at the Hospice office and was given the traditional worship before making its first home care trip.

 
 


INDIA, Haridwar, May 20th, 2016
GPH at Care Nursing College
Dr Jyotsna Seth of Seema Dental College gave a palliative care sensitization talk at the Care Nursing College in Haridwar on Friday 20th May.






  Members of Ganga Prem Hospice medical team gave Dr Jyotsna Seth support as she delivered the first Palliative Care Sensitisation Talk under the MOU between GPH and Seema Dental College. The talk was given to 135 student nurses at the Care Nursing College in Haridwar. The talk was much appreciated and 122 students expressed their interest in joining the palliative care drive in Uttarakhand. Dr Ranjeet of Seema Dental College and Dr Daniel and Sister Philomena from GPH also spoke on their experiences in palliative care.
GPH team with Seema College dentists
Dr Jyotsna calls for volunteers
 



 

 

The Care Nursing College is considering entering into an MOU with GPH by which student nurses can avail of GPH palliative care training and in turn help out with GPH home care and palliative care sensitization programmes.

 


INDIA, Rishikesh, May 13th, 2016
 
GPH and Seema Dental College Collaboration
GPH medical team met with dentists at Seema Dental College to further the collaboration which was determined by the MOU signing on January 30th of this year.



  On 13th May, Ganga Prem Hospice palliative care doctor, Aditi Chaturvedi met with dentists from the Seema Dental College in Rishikesh to discuss plans for reaching out to the youth of Uttarakhand to join the palliative care drive in the State. The team of dentists will give sensitization talks and show GPH presentations in colleges. The first  lecture will be at the Care Nursing College in Haridwar on 20th May.
GPH team with Seema College dentists
GPH team with Seema College dentists
 
 


INDIA, Rishikesh, April  24th, 2016
 
April Clinic 2016
A very busy clinic in Haridwar was followed the next day by an even-paced one in Rishikesh on the 24th of April, 2016.

Patients from the Haridwar, Roorkee and Saharanpur areas attended the Haridwar clinic on the 23rd April resulting in fewer patients than usual coming for consultations to Rishikesh on Sunday 24th April. What was significant was that there were thirteen terminally ill patients among the thirty-six cancer patients who came to the clinic. With a further three patients being suspected cancer cases, the counsellor was busy working throughout the clinic making assessments of which patient needed which kind of care and follow-up. By the end of the clinic, sixteen patients and their carers had been spoken to in detail following their oncological consultations. Of these sixteen patients, five new patients will receive follow-up visits from our home care team.


   
Dr Dewan and Dr Sharma give consultations
Dr Dewan and Dr Sharma give consultations
Dr Aditi counsels a patient with bad cancer wounds
Dr Aditi counsels a patient with bad cancer wounds
   

 

 

Two patients, one with cancer of the head & neck and the other with breast cancer had horrendous wounds and needed specific wound management care. The most common cancer categories which were seen at clinic were thoracic cancer, followed by head & neck, and oral cancers.  Breast cancer was the single most prevalent cancer seen followed by that of the tongue.

Despite the busy clinic on the previous day oncologists Dr AK Dewan and Dr SK Sharma were once again ready to work from early morning on Sunday. The clinic was preceded by a talk on Palliative Care for the Hospice team. The Seema Dental College & Hospital doctors volunteered for the fourth clinic in a row. Their Director Principal, Dr Himanshu Aeran, also visited the clinic.

Guided meditation was offered during the clinic hours and was attended by patients, care-givers, volunteers and staff as and when they could take time out from the other clinic proceedings. The thirty minute sessions included explanations on how pranayam and meditation could help one to keep healthy both physically and emotionally.

   
Dr Saxena with a patient
Dr Saxena with a patient
Pharmacist Mr Arya puts medicines in a patient’s bag
Pharmacist Mr Arya puts medicines in a patient’s bag
   

 

 

Volunteer gynaecologist Dr Rajesh Sakshena was welcomed back to the clinic by the GPH team after a long absence due to a serious illness. The team also said goodbye to Sara Padrino Ojea from Madrid University who has been doing her nursing internship with GPH for the last three months. Everyone at the Hospice much appreciated Sara’s dedication and compassion. Sara says that her time with GPH has been the happiest of her life and that she has learnt more than she ever could have at home.

 


INDIA, Haridwar, April 23rd, 2016
 
Patients in Desperate Need of Cancer Care
"It is a very depressing day today." commented oncologist Dr AK Dewan as he saw patients at the Ganga Prem Hospice-Rotary Club of Ranipur Cancer Clinic in Haridwar on the 23rd of April, 2016. 

This year’s April clinic saw an unusually large number of patients whose cancer had gone untreated as, due to lack of money, they had never sought treatment. Some patients had not even had a biopsy. Both oncologists, Drs AK Dewan and SK Sharma, were shocked at the lack of access to appropriate medical care for cancer patients and the consequent medically neglected condition of many who had been stricken by the disease in the area of Haridwar, a situation made evident when they saw a total of fifty-one malignancies among the one hundred and two patients seeking help.


   
Dr Sharma gives consultation to a patient
Dr Sharma gives consultation to a patient
Dr Dewan with a patient
Dr Dewan with a patient
   

 

 

The day started early for all members of Ganga Prem Hospice and Rotary Club teams. The oncologists began their day at 4 am rising early to catch the morning train from Delhi to Haridwar, while other Hospice team members  from Rishikesh and Haridwar were themselves up early so as to reach the Kankhal-based venue at least an hour ahead of the clinic time.  The oncologists started seeing patients as soon as they reached the Maxwell Janjeevan Hospital venue. The very first patients seen by both doctors in their respective consultation rooms were in the advanced stages of the disease. For two patients, an ultrasound and X-ray were performed at the venue so that they doctors could see the reports and give advice on further courses of action. Ganga Prem Hospice sponsored these investigations.


     
  Of the 102 patients registered, eighteen were from rural areas not just from within and around Haridwar, patients also came from other towns of Western Uttar Pradesh such as Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar, Roorkee, and Sahranpur. One patient was so ill that he was seen by Dr Dewan and Dr Aditi in the ambulance that had brought him to the venue.
Dr Aditi examines a patient in an ambulance
Dr Aditi examines a patient in an ambulance
 
     
Dr Aditi explains a GPH posterSisters Priyanka and Sara with the child patient
Sisters Priyanka and Sara with the child patient

The needy and under-privileged patients' conditions were discussed between the oncologists and the rest of the team, consulting the counsellors and other Ganga Prem Hospice and Rotary Club team members.  For a paediatric patient with meduloblastoma whose left limbs were paralysed, the possibility of getting the child further radiation therapy treatment was considered should the child's initial MRI imaging test be favourable. 

 



 

 

The sponsoring of investigations and treatment for a number of financially underprivileged patients was discussed at length. The Rotary Club agreed to sponsor these patients for their preliminary diagnostic tests and their travel expenses and promised to consider further sponsorship for their treatment. The counsellor identified patients’ primary needs to determine appropriate care and actions - medical treatment, investigations, palliative care and home visits.

   
Sister Mamta dispenses medicines
Sister Mamta dispenses medicines
Members of the Rotary club and GPH team after the clinic
Members of the Rotary club and GPH team
   

 

 

The clinic was a coordinated effort by three different groups working in collaboration. The venue was donated by the Maxwell Janjeevan Hospital, who allowed the Hospice to use their premises for a third time. The clinic publicity and other arrangements were made by the Rotary Club of Ranipur, while Ganga Prem Hospice provided the medical care.






INDIA, Dehradun, April 10th, 2016
Day of Satsang for Dehradun Patients
Ganga Prem Hospice supporters, the Sai Soham Kalyan Samiti from Dehradun, arranged a special day of satsang and recreation for the Hospice patients in Dehradun on 10th April. 

Following a musical concert in Rishikesh on the evening of 9th of April, GPH patients had another invitation on the 10th of April in Dehradun. The Sai Soham Kalyan Samiti arranged a day of satsang and kirtan at their temple in Dehradun. Patients were transported to and from their homes by the Samiti members and GPH vehicles. The event started at 10.30 a.m. and continued until mid-afternoon. Kirtan and satsang were punctuated by a delicious lunch, and refreshments were served throughout the day. Indoor games were taught to the patients and Monika, a GPH patient, played on her guitar and sang for the group. GPH staff and volunteers came from Rishikesh to support the event which was coordinated by Sister Priyanka from GPH. The Samiti members presented all the patients with gifts, fruit and nutritional supplements.

GPH patients were asked to speak about how the Hospice was helping them. It was very touching and rewarding for the GPH team to hear the wonderful feedback from the patients about how much the team’s visits and care meant to each and every one of them.

 
   
GPH staff and patients at the event
GPH staff and patients at the event
GPH staff at the sensitisation programme
GPH staff at the sensitisation programme
   



 

 

On the same day, Sri Mahant Indresh Medical College organized a palliative care volunteers’ sensitization program for three hours at which Dr. Aditi was one of the main speakers.

 


INDIA, Rishikesh, April 9th, 2016
Musical Concert in Rishikesh
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.

‘Aumbience’ presented  classical Indian music at a charity concert in Rishikesh on the 9th April. The concert organized by GPH volunteers was attended by Hospice patients from Rishikesh and Haridwar.

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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.

 
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