Two winning projects!
We received a number of inspiring proposals, and we finally settled on recognizing not one but two projects:
- Embracing Palliative Care right from the Learning Days by Dr. Ambika Rajvanshi
- Improving the care of patients with terminal illness: Demelza Hospice Care for Children by Laura Smyth
Please scroll down to learn more about each of them.
Embracing Palliative Care right from the Learning Days
A capacity building program for undergraduate medical and nursing students to
improve delivery of skilled and compassionate care to the terminally ill
This project was selected for its forward-looking nature and intention to fill a gap in the current curriculum of medical training in India. By highlighting the importance of proper palliative care training starting with the learning days, medical staff will be equipped with the proper tools to provide all aspects of end of life care
Dr. Ambika Rajvanshi
CEO of CanSupport
There exists a critical gap in the care of the terminally ill in India.
More than 70% cancer patients in India present with last-stage disease. These patients and those with other advanced life-limiting illnesses, now beyond medical cure, carry significant burdens of suffering with no access to help with relief from physical and emotional pains, distressing symptoms or crushing financial uncertainties. They are the disease’s untouchables, condemned to spend their last days in unremitting pain and despair. The family too, struggling with a multitude of personal and socioeconomic stresses, often falls apart.
Overwhelming physical and emotional burdens result in the poorest quality of life of patients followed by agonizing death and appalling bereavement adjustments in the family.
The end of a person’s life can be one of the most momentous time in their life; however, modern medicine doesn’t seem to have adequately valued the patient or family needs at this time. Although palliative care is included in undergraduate medical and nursing curricula in many western countries, in India, it has traditionally not had a high profile. Physicians and nurses have therefore not been sufficiently trained to be competent or confident in it. This may explain why health professionals often report feeling overwhelmed by needs that they are not equipped to meet due to lack of training in the areas of breaking bad news, controlling pain and symptoms or helping patients with difficult decisions. This also explains the poor quality of communication reported between them and the patients. It may also partly explain why people are often referred too late or not at all for palliative care.
Improving the care of patients with terminal illness: Demelza Hospice Care for Children
This project was selected for its attention to the most vulnerable members of society, terminally ill children. Providing them and their families with support is Demelza’s mission. The project outlined by Laura Smyth aims to fill the gap between current services offered by the charity, and support still needed but not voiced. Demelza’s help tends to be accepted as is by the families of terminally ill children, resulting in the organization not receiving true and honest comments on what may be lacking. The projects’ goal is to get precisely this much-needed feedback by organizing the distribution and analysis of surveys that will allow Demelza to understand what is missing and needs improvement to make their support and services even more relevant.
Senior Trusts Fundraiser at Demelza Hospice Care for Children
Right now, there are almost 50,000 children with serious and terminal conditions in the UK. And as more children live longer with their conditions, there is increasingly urgent need to support them and their families.
For every parent, the health and happiness of their children is the single most important thing in the world. But the reality is any child could be born with or develop a terminal condition.
Demelza provides specialist care and emotional support for children with terminal conditions and their loved ones, so they can enjoy their time together as a family, for as long as they have.
The unique support we give comes at a price, and at present we are only reaching 20% of the children that we could help and our organisational strategy aims to double the number of families we reach by 2021.