CTC4 Foundation Course – 15th to 19th January 2020

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The 4th run of the Cancer Treatment Centre (CTC) project in India kicked off with the CTC4 Foundation Course at the Pride Plaza Hotel at Delhi’s Aerocity. The training was taught by 15 faculty members, and was supported by program director Mr Giam Cheong Leong and India administrative staff Ms Sarita Kumari. The faculty comprised doctors: Dr Cynthia Goh (Singapore), Dr Sushma Bhatnagar (Delhi), Dr Naveen Salins (Manipal), Dr Santosh Chaturvedi (Bangalore), Dr Seema Rao (Manipal), Dr Anjum Joad (Jaipur), Dr Priyadarshini Kulknarni (Pune), Dr Savita Butola (Gwalior), Dr Roopesh Jain (Bhopal), Dr Raghavendra (Bangalore), Dr Mayank Gupta (Dehradun), Dr Vidya Viswanath (Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh), and nursing staff: Ms Nileema (Delhi), Ms Alice Stella (Calicut), and Ms Hanify MacGamwell (Kolkata). Of note among the faculty were Drs Raghavendra and Mayank, trainees from the CTC1 program, Dr Roopesh from CTC2 program, and veteran faculty Dr Anjum and Dr Priya who were graduates from the Flinders Course run by the APHN in Singapore from 2005 to 2009.

There were many “firsts” at this Foundation Course: the new teaching venue provided a larger space; we were able to accommodate a record 17 Institutions from a waiting list of 21 institutions; a record 63 participants attended the training. We were particularly pleased to have a team from the Armed Forces Medical College from Pune, which was the headquarters of the medical service of the Armed Forces of India, the largest provider after the Ministry of Health. With the inclusion of the CTC4 institutions, a total of 48 CTCs covering 20 states and 2 union territories of India have received training.

For the first time we had observers from Lien Centre for Palliative Care Singapore, 2 education specialists to see how they might help enhance the training using IT and blended learning. In addition, Ms Radha Basu from the Lien Foundation came and witnessed the positive testimonies of the participants with a view to create media awareness for the program.

Following the 5-day CTC4 Foundation course, arrangements were being made for the trainees to attend a 5-day clinical attachment either at AIIMS Delhi or, for the first time, at Manipal. Each CTC has been assigned a mentor to guide their development.

On February 2020, Dr Cynthia Goh and Dr Sushma Bhatnagar visited Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh, together with Dr Alok Mathur, Additional Director-General of Health, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi, to meet with the State Health Minister, who graced a Sensitization Workshop on Palliative Care organized to promote palliative care in that remote state of India which has 2 CTCs under the CTC program.

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Written by: Dr Cynthia Goh (APHN Chair) and Mr Giam Cheong Leong (APHN Executive Director)