In recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating impacts and brought about many changes that resulted in a new normal. Similarly, the Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care (Lien Collab) for the Centre Treatment Centre (CTC) was impacted as well. A portion of the plans for the CTC4 training were converted and held online till the completion of the programme. Fortunately, the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) was able to proceed with our training plan when countries around the world began to open their borders.
The Lien Collab programme has been a successful collaboration between the APHN and AIIMS since 2016. This year, we ran the 5th Cohort – The Foundation Course for the CTC5 Lien Collab training, a five-day programme held from 14-19 August 2022. Led by Dr Sushma Bhatnagar (Country Lead from India) and Dr Shirlynn Ho (Country Lead from APHN), a total of 18 faculty members (15 locals and three non-locals) and five support staff came together to conduct the programme which provided comprehensive coverage of topics from Introduction of Palliative Care to Symptom Management to Nursing Management. There were two observers, Mr Gabriel Lim from Lien Foundation Singapore (Sponsor) and Dr Sharon Choo from Sarawak General Hospital Malaysia, who were also present to witness the excellence of the programme.
A group of 55 participants from 14 Institutions across eight states participated in CTC5. The programme was also graced by Professor Randeep Guleria, Director of AIIMS, Delhi who inaugurated the event. Including CTC5 , we have since trained 228 participants from 55 institutions across 24 states in India. We were honoured to have had Mr Vishal Chauhan, the Joint Secretary from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare witness our programme.
During this trip, there were opportunities to visit and see the development of Palliative Care in the following institutions:
- National Cancer Institute, AIIMS, Jhajjar
- AIIMS, New Delhi
- Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (CTC 4)
- Safdarjung Hospital (CTC1)
We would like to give a huge thank you and congratulate Dr Bimla Sharma and her team from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and Dr Saveena Raheja and her team from Safdarjung Hospital for their excellent effort in not only starting the palliative care services in their hospitals but continuing to expand their services with continued advocacy through education and community awareness.
We were also proud to have witnessed the expansion of the palliative care beds in AIIMS Delhi and National Cancer Institute Jhajjar under the leadership of Dr Sushma Bhatnagar.
With the completion of the Foundation Course, the next phase will require the trainees to undergoing a five-day onsite Clinical Attachment. This will be conducted and supported by Dr Sushma Bhatnagar and Dr Naveen Salins at the two partnering institutions of the APHN: AIIMS, New Delhi and Kasturba Medical College, Manipal
Written by Mr Giam Cheong Leong ((APHN Executive Director)