The IMP is a World Health Organization collaborating centre for community participation in palliative care and long term care. The course has been organized in collaboration with Srilankan Medical Association and National Cancer Control Program. The first course for doctors will run from the 23 to 26 November 2012. There will be 50 places available per course.
Dr. Suresh Kumar, Director, Institute of Palliative Medicine, pointed to the absence of palliative care services in Sri Lanka. He noted that the lack of trained professionals is the major challenge to providing proper palliative care. The country at present has only one doctor trained in palliative care .There are seven ‘hospices’ in the country, linked to the provincial cancer centers. They mainly serve as home for destitute cancer patients and have minimal nursing and medical care.
Demonstration projects on community-based palliative care are also being set up in three districts in Sri Lanka. The service is being developed with the help of the Neighbourhood Network in Palliative Care in Kerala. Sri Lanka’s National Cancer Control Program agreed to include this in the action plan for next five years.
The IPM has initiated similar programmes in Thailand and Bangladesh. Both projects are progressing well. Follow further activities by the IPM on the India edition of ehospice.