09 RPC and World Palliative Care Day - Monica Fernandes

posted Oct 3, 2018, 10:05 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 3, 2018, 10:05 AM ]
'Because I Matter' - World Hospice and Palliative Care Day Theme

Palliative care is a holistic approach to medicine. 'Palliative' is derived from the Latin 'palliare' which means 'to cloak'. Just like a cloak protects the major portion of the wearer's body, palliative care encompasses many aspects of an illness. October 13, 2018 will be celebrated as World Palliative Day. Dame Cicely Saunders is said to have been the first person to propagate the humane concept of palliative care in the treatment of debilitating and end-stage diseases. While treating a disease, medical care should also cater to a patient's psychological, social and spiritual needs.

The Romila Palliative Care Centre (RPC) is a daycare facility started by Ashoka Fellow Dr Armida Fernandez, a few years ago in memory of her lovely daughter Romila, who tragically succumbed to cancer. RPC, located off Hill Road on Somnath Lane, is a part of the NGO, SNEHA, and is a haven of peace amidst the hustle and bustle of the busy Hill Road nearby. Its pastel coloured furnishings are designed to lift up the spirits of patients suffering from cancer, Parkinson's, and other debilitating illnesses. It provides free consultation, and is efficiently run by two dedicated doctors, volunteer doctors, trained counsellors who provide counseling to patients and caregivers, two nurses, a social worker, and a host of trained volunteers including a dietician (Shobha) and an occupational the rapist (Odette).

If needed, doctors visit a patient's home and provide inputs to the patient's caregivers and family members. Volunteers read to the patient, and spend time with them in order to lift up their spirits. There is a monthly Caregivers' meeting where caregivers are motivated, and their problems addressed. The Centre also has a tie-up with some hospitals and nursing homes who impart free or subsidised treatment in Mumbai.