UK Aid Direct funded project trains community members to provide vital compassionate care in Narayanganj City Corporation, Bangladesh

On 30 June 2018, 18 community members completed a three-day palliative care volunteer training programme at the new Narayanganj City Corporation Community Palliative Care Hub.

The training is part of the ‘Narayanganj Palliative Care’ project, funded by UK Aid Direct and delivered in partnership between the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance and the Center for Palliative Care at the Department of Palliative Medicine, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).

In Bangladesh people are living and dying with serious pain and suffering because there are so few hospice and palliative care services and essential palliative care is not included as part of Universal Health Coverage.

The Center for Palliative Care has demonstrating through the existing project: ‘Compassionate Korail’ how compassionate, high-quality person centred care can be provided with relatively low resources. The Compassionate Naryanganj project aims to show how this model of community-based care can be provided in different social and economic context within Bangladesh. This model can be drawn on as an example for services in both high- and low-income countries.

The topics covered by the training included: Introduction to Palliative Care, Volunteering in Palliative Care, Communication of Bad News, Pain in Palliative Care, Paediatric and Geriatric Palliative Care, Psychosocial Issues in Palliative Care, Bereavement Support, Cancer and other Incurable Diseases, Nursing Issues in Palliative Care, Community Palliative Care, Wound Management and Care of Bedbound Patients, and End of Life Care.

The training also included a case study from Compassioante Korail, run by WHPCA and the Center for Palliative Care in nearby Korail Slum, as well as two case reports which demonstrated how volunteers could help provide home care for their neighbours.

Professor Nezamuddin Ahmad, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Palliative Medicine at the Centre for Palliative Care, said: “With the growing need for palliative care for serious illness in Bangladesh, community volunteers are a vital resource to address the burden of suffering and improve quality of life for those living and dying with serious illness. We are extremely happy to have trained 18 enthusiastic and capable people to become certified palliative care volunteers in their community.”

The training is part of the Narayanganj Palliative Care project, funded by UK aid from the British people.