Commencement of home based palliative care service in Colombo and Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

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In commemoration of World Cancer Day which falls on 4 February of every year, the Cancer Care Association Sri Lanka (CCASL) expanded its Home Based Palliative Care Service (HBPCS) – the first of its kind to provide this service to Sri Lankan underprivileged cancer patients – to the districts of Colombo and Anuradhapura.

This service was first inaugurated in the district of Gall, in southern Sri Lanka, by the Karapitiya branch of CCASL under the guidance of Dr Samadhi Rajapaksa (current president of CCASL) and Dr Iresh Jayaweera (then president of the Karapitiya branch). The objective of HBPCS is to treat palliative cancer patients in the comfort of their own home and amongst loved ones.

A team of volunteers comprised of a medical doctor, a nurse and trained palliative care practitioners from CCASL visit the homes of cancer patients in need of palliative treatments, mostly in remote areas.

They engage in activities such as pain management, treating cancer related wounds and bed sores, monitoring the vital signs of patients such as blood pressure, blood glucose level etc., administering relevant medications (done by the medical practitioner accompanied by the team) and most importantly religious activities such as meditation and counselling to help uplift the spiritual well being of the patient (which is of utmost importance at the palliative care stage).

Hence on 4 February 2015 (World Cancer Day), the CCASL Home Based Palliative Care team visited pre-identified patients in the districts of Colombo and Anuradhapura to inaugurate the expansion of its services to the above mentioned districts.

A total of four patients were visited within two days and the patient feedback was immensely positive and highly commendable. CCASL will continue to provide similar services to the underprivileged cancer patients of Sri Lanka, in months to come.

Read more about the work of the Cancer Care Association of Sri Lanka online.

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