In his address at the Inaugural Ceremony held on the evening of the first ICPCN Conference taking place this week in Mumbai, India, Maharashtra Minister of Health, Suresh Shetty, stated his support for a further roll out of children’s palliative care throughout the state of Maharashtra. His statement was a welcome endorsement of the hard work done to date by the CPC Project team based at Tata Memorial Centre and was greeted with enthusiastic applause from the delegates and other dignitaries in attendance. He went on to congratulate Tata Memorial Hospital for taking the initiative to host the conference, the first of its kind in India.
The Health Minister was joined on stage by Dr R. A. Badwe, Director of the Tata Memorial Centre, where the conference is being held, who extended a warm welcome to India and to the Tata Memorial Centre to all the delegates, who hail from 32 countries around the globe. This welcome was echoed by Dr A.K. D’Cruz, Head of Surgical Oncology at the Tata Memorial Centre, who thanked the delegates and ICPCN for giving the hospital the honour of bringing the conference to India.
The ceremony began with the ceremonial lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries present, including the Health Minister, as well as the conference co chairs, Joan Marston, Chief Executive of the ICPCN and Professor Mary Ann Muckaden, Head of the Palliative Care Department of Tata Memorial Hospital. and ended with a programme of delightful entertainment by a group of wonderfully talented children and young people. The evening was rounded off with a display of traditional dancing from a group of exuberant and colourfully clad children, a number of whom are patients in the CPC Project.
Reflecting on the success of the first day and the remarks by the Health Minister Joan Marston had this to say, “We were delighted to hear that the minister supports and recognises the need for palliative care for children in the entire Maharashtra state. This level of support is a testament to the dedication and success of the CPC Project team under the leadership of Dr Pradnya Talawadekar.”
The evening was a great success and was rounded off with a delicious ‘High Tea’ provided by the warm and generous Indian hosts.