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India, Gohri Maphi, 14th April, 2018
Kirtan at the Inpatient Facility
On the Vaisakhi festival long-time GPH supporters the Sai Soham Samiti from Dehradun visited the inpatient facility and held a kirtan there.


   
Participants listen to the satsang
Participants listen to the satsang
Patients clap along with the kirtan
Patients clap along with the kirtan
     

 

 

Seven inpatients and three home care patients along with carers and staff thoroughly enjoyed the two hour programme put on by the visitors. The programme was interactive and even the bedridden patients were able to join in. The event started with kirtan to the accompaniment of drum and symbols. Each member of the group led a kirtan, one after the other, with the audience joining in enthusiastically. The kirtan was followed by a short satsang with one of the members speaking about the inner light of the soul which can be joined with the light of Paramatma. The talk was touching especially for those of us who knew that the lady was also a cancer patient. Guided meditation followed which everyone joined in, some sitting on the floor and others staying in their chairs. The spiritual part of the programme culminated in an aarti with most of the participants enjoying offering the lights in front of the makeshift altar.

Then came time for games which most people were able to play and, much to their delight, some of the patients also won prizes. The afternoon ended with the Sai Soham devotees distributing tasty snacks and fruit juices. All agreed it had been a lovely afternoon and the Samiti people promised to come again soon.



 

India, Dehradun, 29th March, 2018
Bringing the Smile back to their Faces
When a patient passes away, the rehabilitation and putting life back together for the bereaved loved ones is sometimes a long and always an emotional process. Ganga Prem Hospice assists many families to cope with the aftermath of losing a loved one.

One patient of the hospice had a particularly difficult life. Abused and abandoned by her husband, she lived with her three children in fear of his return while she herself was already stricken with end-stage cancer. She needed a lot of support to cope with her disease, as well as to be assured of her children's well-being, once she left this world. The Ganga Prem Hospice team regularly visits the brave children, who are living on their own, and are pursuing their education.


   
 
Dr Rupali Dewan with a patient
 
     

 

 

Earlier this week, a friend of Ganga Prem Hospice took the children out for fun and rides to the Fun Valley Amusement Park. The children much enjoyed their day of picnic, rides and water games.



 

INDIA, Rishikesh, March 25th, 2018
March Clinic
The Ganga Prem Hospice March 2018 cancer clinic date fell on a twin festival day when everybody stays busy performing the 'ashtami and novami pujas, even so 61 patients reached the Rishikesh clinic for consultation, nearly half of whom were cancer patients.

Three new patients suffering from advanced stage cancer were promised home care - one each from Rishikesh, Haridwar and Dehradun. The counselling team spoke at length with patients and their families, who had varying degrees and different types of difficulties. While some patients needed home care, and were explained what the service could do for them, others lived in far-away cities. The details of those who lived far away were noted and they were given assurance of telephonic advice.


     

A young deceased patient's bereaved wife visited the clinic for the first time, after the passing away of her husband. She has two very little children and will need support after the long and traumatizing illness of her husband.

Sister Mamta and Dr Painuly comfort the young widow
Sister Mamta and Dr Painuly comfort the young widow
 
     

 

 

One patient from Haridwar, who was already being given home care by the hospice, brought a neighbour of his to the clinic, another patient with advanced stage and metastasized cancer. He too was promised visits at home.


   
Dr Rupali Dewan with a patient
Dr Rupali Dewan with a patient
Dr Dewan explains the prognosis to a patient
Dr Dewan explains the prognosis to a patient
     

 

 

Surgical oncologist Dr AK Dewan was the lead oncologist at the clinic, supported by five other doctors who gave consultations, as well as counselled patients. Two gynaecologists, a senior general physician, a visiting physician, and an Ayurvedacharya were among the doctors present.


   
Nani Ma with a bereaved child
Sister Priyanka distributes medicines
Ashtami puja for a bereaved child
Ashtami puja for a bereaved child
     

 

 

Two nurses from District Uttarkashi were observers at the clinic, having been sent by their department to learn about palliative care at Ganga Prem.

New volunteers joined, and offered to take on the task of accompanying under-privileged patients to hospitals for their treatment and investigations. Some patients and their family members offered to volunteer for the hospice, within their home towns. Our friends from the Rama Foundation, Cambridge, UK, also visited the clinic.

 


 

India, Uttarkashi, 13-15th March, 2018
Pallium Ganga Prem – Uttarkashi
In connection with the Pallium Ganga Prem project to bring palliative care to all corners of Uttarakhand, a reconnaissance team from Ganga Prem Hospice visited Uttarkashi on the 13th March.


     

 

 

Thanks to the help of the Saumyakashi Rotary Club and other residents of Uttarkashi the team’s visit was very successful. The team arrived in the early afternoon and after taking a bath in the river Ganga and eating a lovely meal at a local ashram the team visited pharmacies in the town to spread the word about the cancer camp that they planned to conduct the following morning.


     
With the pujari of Vishwanath temple
With the pujari of Vishwanath temple

The team was invited to the evening Ganga aarti where they were honoured and introduced to members of the Rotary club who promised their full support for the project. After visiting the Kashi Vishwanath temple and meeting other Rotary club members and doctors, the team returned to the ashram to plan the next day’s work.

 
     

 

 

On the 14th morning, after meeting with the district hospital superintendent, the team gave consultations, counselling and free medicines to cancer patients who attended the camp. This was followed by a presentation on palliative care to the CMO and additional CMO of Uttarkashi district, the hospital superintendent and other doctors and nurses from the hospital. The presentation was well received and resulted in a lot of enthusiasm to open a palliative care centre in the area.


   
GPH free cancer camp in Uttarkashi
GPH free cancer camp in Uttarkashi
 Palliative care presentation for doctor and nurses
 Palliative care presentation for doctor and nurses
     

 

 

As it had been planned to take one of the cancer patients and a destitute gangrene patient down to Rishikesh the team then visited a local ashram to ask for the use of their ambulance. This was readily granted although unfortunately the cancer patient passed away that evening. The gangrene patient was taken to a home for destitute people in Rishikesh where his condition is being cared for.

The team then met with the Uttarkashi District Magistrate in the early evening. He listened attentively and was very enthusiastic to open a palliative care centre in his district. He promised full support for the project and said he would personally apply for the permissions needed from the State government. The day was then completed with a home care visit in a small village some 10 kilometres from the town. The day had been long but very satisfying.


     

The final morning in Uttarkashi included a bereavement visit to the family of a long time patient of GPH and a tree planting ceremony on Varuna Parvat which overlooks the town.

GPH team on home care visit
GPH team on home care visit
 
     

 

 

As one member of the team stayed on in Uttarkashi, a follow up meeting was possible on the 20th of March and now the GPH team is in close touch with the palliative care pioneers of Uttarkashi. A further visit has been planned to train the doctors and nurses of the district hospital in the second weekend of April. In the meantime two nurses plan to visit the hospice for training from the 25th to 27th March.



 

INDIA, Gohri Maphi, March 1st, 2018
Holi at the Hospice
Patients, families, staff and visitors celebrated the spring festival of Holi this year on 1st March 2018. The festival celebrates good triumphing over bad and is a time traditionally marked by having fun with colours.


     

Home care program patients were invited to join the patients at the hospice to enjoy music and dance performed by the school children from the local Tibetan Homes Foundation, Raiwala.


Traditional Tibetan dance
Traditional Tibetan dance
 
     

 

 

Following the traditional performance, popular music was played and the play with colours began. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed dancing and throwing colours on each other!



   
Playing Holi
Playing Holi
 Come and play !!!
 Come and play !!!
     

 

 

When everyone was exhausted with the celebrations, the Hospice kitchen team distributed drinks with sweet and savoury snacks and GPH drivers then returned their happy guests back to their homes.



 
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