“Then sparkling-new, the facility at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Medical University Hospital (BSMMU), in the capital city of Dhaka, was airy and bright – a shock, considering its mere existence made it ultra-rare in Bangladesh.”
Writing for Next City, journalist M. Sophia Newman describes the massive challenge facing hospice and palliative care in Bangladesh and the rest of the Indian subcontinent, before introducing a new project by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Medical University Hospital and the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance (WHPCA) to increase access to palliative care through a community-based program in two Dhaka slums.
The programme will support a community that until now has been caring for each other with no support, to increase their capacity to provide, and access, quality palliative care.
Goals of the programme include: community sensitisation to palliative care, recruiting community assistants and providing support from BSMMU Centre for Palliative Care.
Ms Newman concludes: “Now people have a chance at what one activist wished aloud for Sumaya – a wish that came true, on March 21, 2014, at her family’s home near Dhaka: “Perhaps you can have a loving death.”