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INDIA, Rishikesh, November 26th, 2017
November Clinic
Even though the November cancer clinic of Ganga Prem Hospice did not attract as high a total number of patients as the monthly service generally does, the percentage of cancer patients was sixty percent as forty-one of the seventy patients seen were cancer patients, with another two as suspected cases.

Dr Sharma consoles a patient
Dr Sharma consoles a patient
Dr Dewan and Dr Keifer study a patient’s reports
Dr Dewan and Dr Keifer study a patient’s reports



Three oncologists were present at the clinic, and were supported by two palliative care experts, an internal medicine physician, a gynaecologist and an ayurvedacharya. Surgical oncologist Dr AK Dewan and radiation oncologist Dr SK Sharma were supported by Dr Gauri Kiefer, medical oncologist from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA. who was visiting the Ganga Prem cancer clinic for the first time. Drs Swati Narain from Mumbai and Laurie Anderson from UK from also joined the clinic for the first time.

Patients were offered home care as well as inpatient admission when found in need of the services. An eighteen-year-old patient suffering from advanced stage cancer of the larynx was admitted to the hospice as he was not a local, and needed to be close to his hospital for his ongoing treatment. Detailed instructions were later given to the hospice staff about the patient's specific dietary needs.

Dr Aditi counsels the young patient
Dr Aditi counsels the young patient
Sr Mamta dispenses free medicines
Sr Mamta dispenses free medicines
A total number of seven patients were counselled by palliative care doctor, Aditi Chaturvedi, who assessed patients' needs, whether for hospital treatment, home care, or other forms of support. A terminally ill patient who had symptoms of distress but had consistently refused home care was gently advised that there was no shame in seeking assistance and professional care in time of need, and that hospices were meant to provide succour in exactly such circumstances as being faced by the patient and his family.
Sr Mamta dispenses free medicines
Dr Vats examines a patient



The seventy patients at the clinic came from fourteen different towns, namely Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun, Uttarkashi, Kotdwar, Mussoorie, Tehri Garhwal, Rudraprayag, Roorkee, Sahranpur, Muzaffarnagar, Srinagar, Chamoli and Sahranpur.

Breast cancer has consistently been the single-most common type of cancer found. At the November clinic, again it saw the most patients with eight cases. As a category, head & neck cancers were most pre-dominant with fifteen cases. In all, twenty-one different kinds of cancers were seen among the forty-one patients suffering from cancer.



INDIA, Rishikesh, November 24,25&26th, 2017
GPH 3rd IAPC Training Course
On 24-26th November 2017, twenty-one health care professionals from around Uttarakhand attended the Ganga Prem Hospice and Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) training course in Rishikesh.

the Tibetan group sing together
Sr Priyanka makes a presentation
The participants liten to a lecture
The participants liten to a lecture



The GPH Presents Third Annual "Essentials of Palliative Care" Training Course was once again hosted by Seema Dental College & Hospital (SDCH), and the curriculum was managed by the leaders of the GPH medical team. For three full days the GPH hosts enjoyed sharing their knowledge and skills with other professionals who are dedicated to improving their understanding and practice of palliative care. The course material covered all domains of palliative care and was presented by fourteen different experts in the field. Participants included doctors, nurses, dentists and psychologists as well as some lay supporters of the hospice who wished to increase their knowledge of palliative care topics. A ‘WhatsApp’ group has been created so that participants can stay connected and to share information and inspiration. 

The group will reconvene early in 2018 for a final exam. In the interim, participants are requested to write a reflective study about a current or previous palliative patient under their care. Both the exam and the essay are required in order to receive IAPC advanced training certification.

For details of the course lectures and faculty please visit



INDIA, Rishikesh, November 24th, 2017
GPH and the Rishikesh Rotary Club
On 24 November 2017 some of the team from GPH attended a Rotary Club meeting to discuss the importance of palliative care and to request support from the Rotarians.

Whilst some members of the Rishikesh Rotary Club have already been assisting GPH in a variety of ways, the talk given by volunteers from the hospice allowed for a greater understanding of the issues needing to be addressed. Visiting palliative care doctors from the UK presented the concept of palliative care and explained the role of GPH in providing hospice services. This was followed by an account of the value of volunteering by visiting hospice supporters. The Rotarians were encouraged to consider the variety of ways they could offer their assistance.

After the formal presentations, a stimulating discussion occurred which then expanded over a group dinner. Stories of difficult situations for deceased family members were shared and all agreed on the importance of improving access to quality palliative care for the people of Uttarakhand. Several of the Rotarians were inspired to commit to supporting the hospice and agreed to attend the planned training for volunteers. The GPH team appreciated the kindness and willingness of the Rotarians shown to them at this meeting and look forward to their continued support.



INDIA, Gohri Maphi, November 9th, 2017
Tibetan Cultural Programme
On 9th November students and teachers from the local Hermann Gmiener Tibetan Homes School performed at Ganga Prem Hospice.

Patients and staff enjoyed a special treat when some of the young people from the neighbouring Tibetan School in Gohri Maphi visited Ganga Prem Hospice. The students presented their traditional song and dance in the circular courtyard near the front of the hospice temple. The previous week the school had invited staff from the hospice to attend their yearly sports function. In turn, the GPH doctors then requested the students to perform at the hospice.

the Tibetan group sing together
the Tibetan group sing together
Traditional Tibetan dance
Traditional Tibetan dance



The Tibetan children and their music teacher performed for an audience of hospice inpatients, visiting home care patients, staff, volunteers and local children. Their performance with Tibetan dress, musical instruments, song and dance was superb. The audience had a lot of fun joining in the dance later in the program. The music teacher sang nostalgically of Tibet and their ancient traditions in a wonderful voice. He also sang a moving song for world peace and two well known songs in Hindi which delighted the audience.

Reshu, a young girl who was recently an inpatient, returned to the hospice with her mother and baby brother – much to the delight of the staff– to enjoy the event. Reshu loves interacting with young people. The performers had snacks at the hospice and mingled with the staff. They explained how they try to keep their culture alive even though they are in exile. One young man said tearfully that he had never seen his country but longed to go there one day.

GPH is grateful to the Tibetan youngsters and the staff of the Tibetan Homes Foundation who appeared so genuinely pleased to contribute to the hospice cause. Everyone looks forward to their promised return visit in the new year.



INDIA, Delhi & Shimla, November 5,6th & 18,19th, 2017
GPH & Paediatric Palliative Care Training
During November members of the Ganga Prem Hospice medical team assisted in two palliative care conferences in North India to train health care professionals in the care of children with life threatening illnesses.

Provision of palliative care for children is poorly resourced throughout the world and particularly in India. There are very few specialists in the country so it was with great enthusiasm that the doctors joined experts from India and abroad to assist in training.

The first conference was in the AIIMs Hospital Delhi; a joint venture between Cankids, the Delhi based charity supporting children with cancer and AIIMs hospital, Delhi (November 5-6). It was attended by over 100 health care professionals. Alongside lecture presentations, the participants also took part in workshops and discussed ethical issues.

The second conference was in Shimla, a hill station in the Himalaya which is the capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh (Nov 18-19). This conference was well attended by medical students as well as paediatricians and Intensive care specialists and provoked interesting discussions on end of life care which gave the team plenty to consider.

The team are committed to increasing the number of children on the GPH home care program and have made efforts to ensure child patients are identified. Two such children have been admitted to the inpatient facility this month.

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