Life is an opportunity and serving the terminally ill is a greater opportunity: A. Shanti Kumari


A.Shanti Kumari, Principal Secretary seen inspecting Model of Sparsh Hospice new centre which is coming up.

Hyderabad, October 13, 2018: Sparsh Hospice, first hospice and palliative care center in both the Telugu States observed World Hospice and Palliative Care Day on Saturday here in the city at Sparsh Hospice premises in Road Number 12 in the city today

Mrs. A. Shanti Kumari, IAS, Principal Secretary Chief Minister’s Office, Health, Medical & Family Welfare was the Chief Guest at the function.

Mrs. Shashikala, Principal, Osmania Media College was the guest of honour. Mallikarjun, President of Rotary Club of Banjara Hills welcomes the gathering. Rammohan Rao, CEO of Sparsh Hospice graced and danced along with some nurses.

Speaking on the occasion Shanti Kumari said “Life is an opportunity and serving the terminally ill is a greater opportunity”.

Responding to some requests made by Sparsh Hospice, she said they were small requests and would be looked into.

Earlier Jagadish Ramadugu of Sparsh Hospice made couple of requests to Shanti Kumari to consider Home Care and Include it under Aarogyasree and make use of in house training facilities set up by Sparsh Hospice to train Government Doctors and create an awareness to them about Palliative Care Services

The theme for this year is “Palliative Care – Because I Matter”.

Over 100 people including patients, their families, social workers and volunteers graced the occasion. Few social workers entertained patients with their dance performance.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. It is the care extended to the terminally ill cancer patients. Once the cancer is termed as ‘Terminal’ it means that the life of that patient will end soon and no curative treatment is possible. Hence in this stage, it is deemed fit to concentrate in improving the quality of life and lessening the suffering rather than trying to prolong life with toxic treatments. This is the concept of ‘palliative Care’. A hospice is a place where patients with terminal illnesses are provided palliative care.

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world.

The day is observed to share its vision to increase the availability of hospice and palliative care, to raise awareness and understanding of the needs—medical, social, practical of the people and to raise funds to support and develop hospice and palliative care services.

Family members of the diseased Cancer Patients who availed facilities at the center, Sparsh Hospice Staff, Patrons assembled to mark the occasion. . The families recounted their sorrowful and painful journey during the last days of the diseased patients and the free palliative care and support provided by the Sparsh Hospice. This program was organized to create awareness for the free palliative care provided by the Sparsh Hospice.

Sparsh Hospice is the Palliative Care Center which is an initiative of Rotary Club of Banjara Hills Charitable Trust. Sparsh Hospice is currently located in a rental place in Road No. 12, Banjara Hills is a 12 bedded facility and is the first Hospice in our state.

Palliative care at Sparsh involves physical, emotional and spiritual care, with a team of trained doctors, nursing staff, physiotherapists, counselors and spiritual guides. And this is the free service. It also provides home care services. Till date it has given service to more than 2000 in patients, out patients and home care all at free of cost.

It spends little over Rs 7 lakh to run the facility each month. All these funds are mobilized through the donations from individual philanthropists and corporate under CSR initiatives

Sparsh Hospice is now planning to expand and set up 70 bedded Hospice centre for free service for the terminally ill cancer patients. KT Rama Rao has laid a foundation stone in June for the facility at Khajaguda on Nanakramguda Road in Sherlingampally Mandal. Telangana State Government allocated one acre land to Sparsh Hospice on 33years lease. The construction of the building is in full swing.

Each year in Hyderabad nearly 12,000 patients are at a terminal stage of cancer. More palliative care is required. Only 0.5 Per cent of the population gets the benefit from palliative care and relief.

It is a known fact that Cancer is on the rise in our Country and according to WHO, 1 in 4 Cancer patients in the world are from India. About 10, 00,000 cases (ten lakhs) of Cancer are diagnosed in India each year and of this number, about 12,000 per year are from Hyderabad alone. It is also well known that more than 70% of Cancer patients are at an advanced stage at diagnosis itself.

Death is inevitable. But, death has to be dignified and painless. Any service rendered to terminally ill patients is very laudable.

All of Sparsh’s facilities including stay, medicine, medical care and food are entirely free to patients.

Saturday, October 13, 2018