Imphal: To empower healthcare providers with skills necessary to relieve the suffering of patients with COVID-19 and their families, Pallium India in collaboration with Pallicovid Kerala, a collective of palliative care professionals has initiated a weekly online training in basic palliative care. The National Health Mission, Manipur issued a directive for doctors, staff nurses, social workers, and paramedical staff to undergo this training and over 300 participants enrolled in the first week.
To sustainably manage COVID 19, few palliative care experts in Kerala came together to form an informal task force (Pallicovid Kerala) to develop an e-book on guidelines for integration of palliative care with COVID-care. Aimed at healthcare professionals in their tireless battle against the pandemic, the algorithm-based e-book derived from evidence-based guidelines and advisories from around the world helps enhance their existing skill sets.
Having undergone the basic training, Maibam Ranita Devi, Nurse, NHM, Community Health Officer, Health and Wellness Center, Awang Wabagai, Imphal, Manipur, said, “I have learned a lot as a Community Health Officer with holistic approach on how to take care of patients with incurable disease and Covid-19 by giving compassionate care. Ethical issues, goals of care, and triage in the context of Covid19 was one of the important things to understand which I have learned from this Echo online session and I suggest to please continue this type of Echo session in future also. I’m very pleased and thankful to the ECHO online session being conducted by Pallium India and
Dr. Nepuni Athikho, National Fellowship in Palliative Medicine, Senior Consultant, Head, Family Medicine, Pain & Palliative Care, Christian Institute of Health Science and Research, Dimapur, Nagaland, said, “Palliative Care on Covid-19 gave a very structured e-learning module and online teaching by experienced faculties in the field of palliative care. The course which elaborates on the holistic aspects of care, both psychosocial-spiritual suffering of patients and family of covid-19 infected patients was very helpful and practical. The course changed my whole perspective to covid-19 in a very positive way. I have terminally sick patients whose care have greatly benefited from this course.”
Applauding the efforts of the Pallicovid Kerala Team, Dr.HM Iqbal Bahar, MD Dip Palliative Medicine (UK), HoD (Palliative Medicine), Cachar Cancer Hospital, Silchar, Assam said, “As a healthcare worker while treating covid patients, often there is a natural tendency amongst us to divert all our focus in curing the patients. Amidst this pandemic, a series of online learning sessions on “Palliative Care in Covid-19 patients organised by Pallium India was very rewarding and was the need of the hour to address this gap in this humanitarian crisis. I had the rare opportunity to attend most of the learning sessions. It enhanced my understanding of the concept of offering Palliative services in this unique group of patients. It made me realize that we can do so many things for mitigating the sufferings of these patients. I extend my heartiest respect to the organisers and the faculties for taking this humanitarian initiative to dissipate this knowledge in this remotest part of my country.”
Sessions are conducted on the ECHO platform and participants meet for five days, 1hr 15min daily to go through a lecture, case study and open discussions. This rapidly equips them to practice palliative care, relevant to meet the needs of the patient and their families who are going through suffering and anticipatory grief.
Acknowledging the efforts of the Manipur government, Dr. M R Rajagopal, Director, Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences said, “I congratulate the Manipur Government in seeing the value of this training and encouraging the service providers to participate and learn how to be more compassionate and take informed decisions for treatment and self care as well. This simple solution if adopted by all governments will immeasurably bolster our healthcare force for the current and future emergencies.”
Topics of online training include:
• Relevance of Palliative Care in COVID 19 and concept of grief and bereavement
• Management of important symptoms in COVID 19 (Cough, Breathlessness/delirium/Fever/ Myalgia)
• How to provide emotional support by applying basic principles of communication
• Triage in COVID 19 with special reference to management of ethical issues
• Psychosocial interventions in COVID 19
• Burn-out and self-care
Palliative care is the alleviation of serious illness related suffering of the patient and the family. It involves prevention, assessment and management of symptoms including pain, breathlessness and agitation and providing psychological, social and spiritual support.