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INDIA, Rishikesh, August 27th, 2017
August Clinic

On Aug 27, 2017 Ganga Prem Hospice reached a significant milestone: ten thousand patients have now received free medical consultations, financial support, medicines, loving consolation and refreshments at GPH charitable monthly cancer clinics.

Coincidentally, this achievement comes exactly ten years after the service commenced in September 2007 in Rishikesh. This month’s clinic was also a busy one with ninety-one patients, fifty of whom were cancer patients. The Hospice medical director, Dr AK Dewan led the Hospice team of staff and volunteers at the clinic.


   
Dr Dewan with a patient
Dr Dewan with a patient 
Dr Aditi speaks with a home care patient
Dr Aditi speaks with a home care patient
     

 

 

Patients traveled to the clinic from cities near and far, including Dehradun, Haridwar, Tehri, Pauri, Roorkee, Kotdwar and even Sahranpur, which is located in another state. There were some patients who came for follow-up checkups, while others came to get an expert second opinion. Cancers of the tongue, breast, alveolus, buccal mucosa, and larynx were the most common types of cancers seen.

Although Dr Dewan was the only oncologist at the clinic, he was fully supported by four other doctors. Palliative care doctor Aditi Chaturvedi directly assisted Dr Dewan; gynaecologists Dr Rupali Dewan and Dr Rajesh Saxena saw the female patients; Ayurvedacharya Dr JP Rathi advised patients about Ayurvedic remedies; and Dr Harish Chaturvedi taught meditation and relaxation techniques to patients. Dr Chitra Rajendran provided psychological and practical advice to several seriously ill patients, two of whom were offered home care.


   
Mr Arya distributes free medicines
Mr Arya distributes free medicines
Dr Rupali Dewan writes a prescription
Dr Rupali Dewan writes a prescription
     

 

 

As the health care team focused on the medical consultations,  a group of volunteers and administrative staff worked to ensure that the clinic operations ran smoothly. They registered patients, helped infirm patients in and out of the clinic, and served complimentary refreshments. The Hospice drivers, who are now themselves well-versed in the nuances of patient care, also helped people as they arrived — immediately asking if the patient would prefer to sit or to lie down inside on a bed. Other volunteers networked with visitors, encouraging them to participate in the Hospice activities and stay connected. The Hospice team was in for a special treat as one visiting volunteer from Russia came to the clinic specifically to make sandwiches for the staff during the long clinic. GPH’s regular donors continued their support of the clinic with canopies and chairs, and refreshments and tea.

 


 

INDIA, Gohri Maphi, August  17th, 2017
MAMS Students Plant Trees at the Hospice

Children from the Ma Anandmayee Memorial School (MAMS) in Gohri Maphi planted saplings in the grounds of the Ganga Prem Hospice inpatient facility on 17th August.


   
Dr Chitra helps with the planting
Dr Chitra helps with the planting
 Some of the participants at the reception
Some of the participants at the reception
     

 

 

On August 17th, 2017, Ganga Prem Hospice welcomed students, teachers, the principal, director, admin officer, and gardeners from the Ma Anandmayee Memorial School (MAMS) of Gohri Maphi, Rishikesh, who came to plant trees at the Hospice.  The planting of the trees was part of an environmental awareness programme at the school in which a number of the senior children were involved.

Guava and Amaltas were among the saplings planted, along with those of flowering trees. Some of our inpatients and staff joined in the planting activity and also spoke with the guests about how we can all help to protect the environment. The students promised to return regularly to keep an eye on how the plants are growing.

The Ganga Prem team was happy with the warm and friendly visit from MAMS and interest was shown on both sides for future interactions.



 

INDIA, Gohri Maphi, August  4th, 2017
Medical Students from AIIMS, Rishikesh Visit

On 4th August , 65 first year medical students from AIIMS hospital, Rishikesh visited Ganga Prem Hospice.


   
Students listen to Dr Chitra’s talk
 Students listen to Dr Chitra’s talk
Students behind the Reception
Students behind the Reception
     

 

 

The visit was initiated by the Dean of the AIIMS Medical college in Rishikesh and GPH was happy to host the students. Dr Chitra, the Hospice Resident Palliative Care Doctor gave a talk about the purpose and vision of the Hospice. The students were also given a complete guided tour of the Hospice. This was the first visit of its kind and in the light of the positive response of the students and the enthusiasm of the Dean to organize such a visit, GPH will be encouraging  more such visits to enable students to gain a better understanding of the concept of palliative care and hospices. Furthermore, GPH was happy to have strengthened their relationship with such a prestigious Medical institution as AIIMS.



 

 

INDIA, Rishikesh, July 30th, 2017
July Clinic

Patients from ten different towns attend the Ganga Prem Hospice July free cancer clinic on 30th July 2017

The July 30 Ganga Prem Hospice cancer clinic was a busy one, with nearly 100 patients and only one cancer specialist,radiation oncologist Dr SK Sharma of Jalandhar. Dr Sharma reached Rishikesh in the early morning, after a three hundred and fifty kilometre overnight train journey from his new post in Punjab, and immediately began seeing patients. His consultations were observed by Josephine Dorling, visiting palliative care nurse and complementary therapist from the John Taylor Hospice, England.


   
Nurse Jo Dorling with Dr Sharma
Nurse Jo Dorling with Dr Sharma
Durga Prasad and Mr Mehra at registration
Durga Prasad and Mr Mehra at registration
     

 

 

A total of twenty-six people- both staff and volunteers - comprised the GPH clinic team this month. The team joyfully served the patients at the clinic, not only helping to facilitate the medical consultations, but also providing medicines and nutritional supplements free-of-charge, offering psycho-spiritual counseling, financial advice, and refreshments to all patients and carers.

A total number of ninety-six patients were seen, forty-two (44%) were patients suffering from cancer, and another four were suspected cancer cases. Cancers of the breast, buccal mucosa, thyroid, tongue, vocal chords, pyriform fossa, oesophagus, gall bladder, endometrium, cervix, prostate, kidney, and soft-tissue were some of the types of cancer observed at the clinic. Ten patients received counseling from palliative care doctor Dr Chitra Rajendran, GPH spiritual advisor Nani Ma, and volunteer homeopath Dr Pradeep Painuly. These patients included some who were already receiving the Hospice's home care, and some who had come for the first time, even from as far away as Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. Now that the hospice residential facility is operational, patients and their carers could be offered the option of inpatient care if they so wished.



   
Dr Chitra counsels a patient
Dr Saxena with lady patients
     

 

 

In all, forty-one patients (43%) came from towns outside of Rishikesh, including Dehradun, Haridwar, Tehri Garhwal, Pauri Garhwal, Sahranpur, Deobad, Bijnor, Kotdwar, Roorkee, and other places.

Ganga Prem Hospice is thankful for the continued clinic support from Rajasthani Mishthaan Bhandaar in the form of complementary tea, fruit juices, and refreshments, andAnand Tent House of Rishikesh which provides chairs, fans, and canopies for the clinic. We are also thankful to patients who thoughtfully drop contributions in the donations boxes. Even though all GPH services are free-of-charge, it is still encouraging for the Hospice team to see that people show appreciation of our service by making voluntary contributions.

 



 

INDIA, Gohri Maphi, July 29th, 2017
Waste Management System at GPH

On July 29, 2017, the Ganga Prem Hospice facility was visited by Swami Amritarupananda and Jitendra Kumar of the charitable organisation "Clean Himalaya Society", based in Muni-Ki-Reti, Rishikesh.

Winner of the 2007 World Bank, India Development Marketplace award for one of the best grassroots initiatives for protection of natural resources, Clean Himalaya has been passionately working for environmentally-friendly garbage management in the Rishikesh area for many years. Ganga Prem Hospice and Clean Himalaya Society have several friends in common, including Swamini Sarvamangalananda, one of GPH’s oldest and most dedicated supporters. The Hospice team was very pleased to welcome Swami Amritarupananda, Swamini Sarvamangalananda, and Jitendra Kumar to the new facility.


   
GPH meeting with “Clean Himalayas”
GPH meeting with “Clean Himalayas”
Swami Amritrupananda appreciates the view
Swami Amritrupananda appreciates the view
     

 

 

Effective, environmentally friendly waste management is a top priority for the Hospice,and the guests were able to offer some welcome advice. They explained how to create garbage segregation categories and how to sell the recyclable garbage for income generation. They also very kindly offered to take whatever garbage Ganga Prem Hospice could not safely dispose off. Speaking about her experience with people's cooperation, Swami Armitarupananda said, "We encourage everybody at the Sivananda Ashram to segregate waste at the source. A majority of the people follow the advice, while around 20% still cheat. The key is to keep on motivating people to segregate their waste.”

The Hospice already has a bio-medical waste management system for the medical waste, and a compost pit for recycling of organic waste. The rain water is harvested for future use, while all the gray water is processed and recycled for non-potable water applications.

The Clean Himalaya guests were also given a tour of the Hospice building. The foothills of the Himalayas and the Ganga river looked beautiful through the monsoon clouds as it started to rain. Swami Armitarupananda left a final message in the visitors’ book before leaving:"wonderful place!"


 

 

INDIA, Gohri Maphi, July, 2017
Daily Yoga classes at the Hospice

During July daily Yoga classes for the staff and carers have begun at the inpatient facility of the Hospice.

Renu Gulati, the yoga teacher, teaches a classical form of Yoga from the Hatha Yoga Tradition. The staff attending the class includes the cleaners, cooks, drivers, nurses and doctor. Everyone thoroughly enjoys the class, so much so that they don't even feel like leaving when it is time for them to go home at the end of the session which is also the end of their working day.


   
 
 
     

 

 

At first the class was being held in the prayer/ meditation room but has now as participants have increased it has shifted to the veranda outside where there is a natural breeze and beautiful views of the mountains and Gangaji.



 

INDIA, Dehradun, July 22nd, 2017
Talk on Volunteering by GPH volunteer

Mrs Jyothi Jayan Warrier, a palliative care volunteer from Pain and Palliative Care Society, Trissur, Kerela volunteered at Ganga Prem Hospice from 6th July to 26th July

Jyothi contributed by joining the home care visits, assisting Dr Chitra in her work at the inpatient facility and organising various events happening in the Hospice. She shared that she was a teacher by profession working in Saudi Arabia and had taught in schools there. She came back to Kerela for her children's education. There she joined as a part time palliative care volunteer, while continuing to teach in a private college. Palliative care volunteering taught her that it was the right of the less fortunate to live well until they die and it is our duty to lend listening ears and feel with an  empathising heart.


   
Jyoti addressing the participants
Jyoti addressing the participants
Discussion groups
Discussion groups
     

 

 

During her stay at Ganga Prem Hospice a volunteers meeting was organised from 5pm-6pm on 22nd July 2017 at Sai Soham Mandir, Subhash Nagar, Dehradun with other GPH volunteers. Thirty-five people participated in the event, mostly from Sai Soham. Some youngsters from Doon University also joined the group along with a few members from the Art of Living organisation. Jyothi shared her experience of volunteering and related that volunteering had made her more compassionate and that she had learned to serve better in her personal life. She especially addressed the young students of Doon University saying  that volunteering at a young age would inculcate human values in their life and bring about an attitude of caring even at a young age. 



 


INDIA, Gohri Maphi, July 15th, 2017           
Kirtan and Meditation at the Hospice

Dr Monika from AIMS Hospital led a kirtan and meditation session at Ganga Prem Hospice on Saturday 15th July 2017 from 4.00pm to 5.30pm.



Kirtan at the Hospice
Kirtan at the Hospice
Staff and patients meditate together
Staff and patients meditate together

 

 

 The lively kirtan was enjoyed by GPH staff along with inpatients and a number of home care patients who had come especially for the event. The kirtan was followed by a short pranayama and meditation session. During the kirtan everyone was clapping and singing to their hearts content. An elderly home care patient in a wheelchair said it was astonishing that usually she could not sit for more than 10 minutes at a time but that she had sat through more than one hour during the programme without the slightest difficulty. Her son shed tears of joy to see her smiling and singing and spoke of his gratitude to GPH saying that he had no words to express how much he and his family appreciated all that the Hospice had done for them.


Kamal and Rakesh, the cooks, bringing out the snacks
Kamal and Rakesh, the cooks, bringing out the snacks

After the kirtan, tea and pakoras sponsored by a GPH staff member were served to all. The dining area was full of joy and laughter as everyone tucked into their snacks.

 


 
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