SANTWANA A community based approach to painless life
According to the WHO, “palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychological and spiritual.” Palliative care provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms, affirms life and regards dying as a normal process, and intends neither to hasten nor to prolong death. Palliative care integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patients care, and offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death. It also offers a support system to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their own bereavements.
Through SANTWANA we aim to
• Keep updated data of terminally ill patients in the operational area readily available and constitute properly equipped medico-social voluntary team(s) for regular palliative interventions in treating pain and other symptoms and provide emotional, social and spiritual support.
• Assess the depth of psychological issues of the patient(s) and the family members and offer appropriate remedies including motivation, counseling and spiritual solace.
• Provide emotional support as well as encourage patients to lead a normal life as far as possible by indulging in activities they used to enjoy before the onset of illness.
• Generate awareness in the society on the plight of bed-ridden and terminally ill persons.
• Build up community conscience to render their support in palliative care services.
We are achieving the above said objectives by a multidisciplinary approach and comprehensive action plan. Each and every activity under this programme helps to ensure the well being of the patient and family.
Home care services
There are two units presently carrying out palliative care in the operational area of the agency. Chittumala and Kollam zones are provided with the care of these units. In Chittumala zone the palliative care unit consisted of a coordinator, assistant coordinator, a palliative care nurse, voluntary health care workers and a driver. On the other hand the second unit in kollam zone is functioning with a coordinator, palliative care nurse, voluntary health care workers and a driver. Voluntary services of doctors are also available. We are able to provide nurses care at home to an average of 120 patients per month. Doctors home care services are provided to an average of 12 patients per month. Through nurses home care services on an average of 48 patients are being provided with catheterization every month and average of 20 patients are availing the service for wound dressing at free of cost. Other patients are provided with BP monitoring, counseling services, referral service and spiritual guidance as per the need assessed.
Inauguration of SANTWANA Community Based Palliative Care in Kollam Zone
SANTWANA community based palliative care services were initiated in the Kollam zone on 14th June 2012. A total of 71 patients were visited every month. The operational area of palliative care unit in Kollam Zone consists of Thrikkadavoor Grama Panchayath, Thrikkaruva Grama Panchayath and whole of Kollam Corporation. As a part of the inaugural ceremony training was given to community organizers and Samuhya Sevana Samithy Secretaries on palliative care
Observance of world Palliative care day
The world palliative care day was observed on October 13th October 2012. NRHM palliative care programme in Kollam, and District Panchayath joined hands with us in this effort. The celebrations started with a rally which was meant to spread the awareness regarding the importance of palliative care services. The staff of the District Hospital, Kollam NRHM (Arogyakeralam), Quilon Social Service Society and students from different nursing colleges participated in the rally. The rally was followed by a meeting. Shri. S L Sajikumar, Chairman standing committee (Medical), District Panchayath Kollam Dr. Shaji, Deputy DMO, Dr. Subhagan, NRHM District coordinator and Rev. Fr. Rajesh Martin, Director of Quilon Social Service Society were the dignitaries participated in the meeting. Dr. Subhagn welcomed the gathering. Shri. S. L. Sajikumar and Rev. Fr. Rajesh Martin, felicitated the meeting and appreciated the effort made by each and every one to improve the quality of life of the patient and reduce their pain. Mrs. Devi P. Balan, District coordinator NRHM palliative care thanked the dignitaries and participants.
One day training for Samuhya Sevana Samithy secretaries and voluntary health care workers
A one day training was arranged for the Samuhya Sevana Samithy secretaries voluntary health care workers of Kollam zone on 4th December 2012.representatives from 13 parishes and 22 voluntary health workers participated in the programme. Module of the programme included introduction to palliative care, palliative care nursing, and principles of palliative care and role of communication in palliative care. Mr. Roy, Thiruvananthapuram district coordinator of NRHM Palliative care managed the session
State Palliative care day celebrations
The society ensured active participation in State Palliative care day celebration on 15th January 2013.the celebration was jointly organized by District Panchayath and NRHM Kollam. As a part of the community rehabilitation strategy eight patients performed cultural programme with the support of their bystander and palliative care volunteer of the agency. A comedy skit was performed by the community organizers and social work trainees of QSSS
First anniversary of SANTWANA Community Based Palliative Care Project Chittumala zone
The first anniversary celebrations and Christmas celebrations of SANTWANA at Chittumala zone was conducted at Nanthirical parish hall on 15th December 2012. There was a public meeting which is presided over by Rev. Msgr. James Puthenpura, Forane Vicar, Kanjiracode. Rev. Fr. Pious Mallier, Assistant Director QSSS welcomed the dignitaries as well as the gathering. The celebration was inaugurated by Sri Balachandran , District Socai Welfare Officer kollam. Mr. Antony, coordinator palliative presented the activity report of the programme for the previous year. Rev Fr. Martin, Rev Fr. George Machhukuzhi and Shi M.P. Joseph, Principal Trinity Lyceum Nanthirical felicitated the gathering. Mrs. Molly Joy, voluntary health care worker of SANTWANA thanked the dignitaries and participants.
Medical Camp for detecting life style diseases
A free medical checkup for detecting Blood sugar, hypertension and blood cholesterol was conducted at Tangassery parish hall on July 29th with the support of Matha hospital, Kadavoor. The selected voluntary health care workers of QSSS along with the staff of the hospital attended the patients under the leadership of Dr. Shaji. 97 people utilized this opportunity. As a part of follow up one more camp was organized on 5th August 2012. 52 people attended the follow up camp
Emotional support programme
Be a good listener is the best thing that we are able to do for the dying patients. If we are able to provide emotional support and possibilities to vent out their feelings it will be helpful to them to lead a more peaceful life. So we are providing counseling and emotional support programme to the patient. This was helping them to make their life happy and frequent visit from our part is a support to their family members as well as a motivation to provide better care to the patient. Through this initiative the patient is able to experience the merciful love of Jesus Christ
Terminal illness imposes substantial burdens - economic and otherwise on patients and caregivers. The families of the long term bedridden patients should be helped and cared well. Those who are able to earn an income generally cannot go to work because they have to care for their elderly relative. This creates financial difficulties for the family. Sometimes the education of their children will have to be stopped due to the expensive treatment of their elderly parents. In order to help the families the agency is providing the above said services to patients at free of cost. Finding ways to organize and deliver long-term care that provides for quality of life at an affordable price is of increasing importance as the population ages and family size decreases. Through this project the agency strives to provide adequate and affordable support programs for the bed ridden, the incurably ill and the dying people and to ensure the involvement of the society in patient care and rehabilitation programs by mobilizing local community, volunteers, material and financial resources. We take this opportunity to thank each and every stakeholder of this project who supported us to run this project throughout the last financial year in an efficient mode.