Written by: APHN Editorial Team – Cancer Care Association Sri Lanka
In commemoration of the World Hospice Day, the Cancer Care Association Sri Lanka (CCASL) has released a video about the their Cancer Care Hospice in Kirundankulama, Anuradhapura.
The CCASL was founded by one of the participants of the APHN’s Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care in Sri Lanka, Dr. Samadhi Wishvanath Rajapaksa, as a non-governmental, voluntary organization. From its inception in 2003, it has conducted many projects in order to achieve its main objective of uplifting the mental and physical well being of the cancer patients in Sri Lanka. Out of many such projects, the Cancer Care Hospice takes center stage simply due to the audacity of such an idea, in a country where palliative care is still in its infancy, and its overwhelming importance in uplifting the end-of-life care for Sri Lankan cancer patients.
The Cancer Care Hospice (CCH) is situated in the city of Anuradhapura, under the breeze of the Bodhi Tree which is a sacred location to the Buddhists in Sri Lanka. It provides for a serene and harmonious surrounding which is soothing to both the mind and the body. The palliative care team at the hospice takes care of the physical, mental, social and spiritual quality of life of the patients.
The primary objective of the hospice is to provide palliative care for cancer patients attached to the cancer unit of the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital and to promote the spiritual well being of the terminally ill, while providing the necessary counseling and social support for their family members residing mostly in the vicinity of Anuradhapura. The Cancer Care Hospice also function as a transit home for the patients who are receiving radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment at the Cancer Unit of the Teaching Hospital of Anuradhapura.
The CCH was built in two stages, one of which was completed on June 2011 with a capacity to cater the needs of 20 patients. The second phase of the project was completed in April 2014, thus increasing its capacity to 40 beds. The World Health Organization (WHO) came forward with a donation of 22 beds worth Rs. 1,600,000/=, in order to complete the second stage of the hospice.
By the end of September 2015, the hospice has provided palliative care services to more than 5000 patients. The monthly administrative cost of the CCH, which is facilitated by a contingent of 4 staff members is Rs.250,000 to 300,000/=, and is funded entirely from the generous donations of its well wishers.