Cancer Support Group

Friday, Mar 24th

Last update:06:42:40 AM GMT

Home Showcasing Initiatives KEM Hospital - Prerana Support Group for Cancer

KEM Hospital - Prerana Support Group for Cancer

Introduction Of KEM Hospital
In 1978, at the insistence of Dr. Mrs Banoo Coyaji, the Department of Medical Social Work was started at the KEM Hospital, Pune, to look into problems faced by patients during their treatment. During the last two decades and more, this department has endeavored to help the ill, bewildered, worried, frightened patient who comes to the KEM Hospital.The Medical Social Worker (MSW) was, and is, the link between the patient, the Hospital’s Medical team, its administration and the community at large.

Over the years, the Department of Medical Social Work has grown in terms of personnel. and activities and in terms of acceptance of the role of the Medical Social Worker by the medical and para medical staff of the Hospital. Most of all, it has grown in terms of the help extended to the poor and needy patients of the Hospital. Many of the cases handled by the MSWs are referred by the doctors, nurses and other staff of the KEM Hospital. The Department now has 9 professionally qualified Medical Social Workers, a Consultant Head of the department.

Prerana Support Group for Cancer Kids
Prerana(Inspriration) Support Group for Cancer Kids
Cancer is a devastating illness and when it strikes a child, it not only affects the patient but also the family. The child undergoes the trauma of being unwell, of undergoing treatment that may be painful and which drains all energy and makes him /her lose appetite. The child misses school and is not able to be with friends. Parents are constant witness to their beloved child's agony, and are helpless to alleviate it. Added to this is the heavy cost of treatment. The child as well as the family needs encouragement and material support to see them though this difficult time.

Support Group for Families of Cancer Afflicted Children
“Prerana” seeks to provide just this. “Prerana” has been started by the Oncology and Social Service Departments of the K.E.M. Hospital, Pune, to bring together families of child patient who have cancer, so that they have a forum where they can seek information, discuss problems and seek solutions, provide moral and emotional support to each other as well as receive help and support from the Cancer Specialist, Social Workers and Child Psychologists. It also helps these children to come together, to get familiar with the hospital, doctors and each other. This way, the trauma of treatment and treatment and hospitalization are minimized, hope and inspiration are kindled.

The MSW attached to the prerana group organises group meetings, 7– 8 times a year to discuss problems faced by them, to provide information about the illness and its treatment and to arrange recreational outings for the children and their family members. The Oncologist is a very important member of this support group. “Prerana” gives its members a sense of belonging. It reassures them that they are not alone in their fight.

Follow – up
The Medical Social Worker endeavors to ensure that patients in need of long–term treatment do not drop out due to social or economic problems or as a result of the depression and lethargy that inevitably creeps in.

Visits
Visits are made to the patient's home, school, or place of work when necessary for the patient's treatment and rehabilitation.

Referrals
Referrals to outside agencies are made when the patients need help not available at K.E.M. Hospital; e.g. special schools, shelter homes, orphanages, employment centers, agencies for educational support, marital counselling, other hospitals, etc. Special efforts have to be made to raise funds for major requirement like chemotherapy and radiation.

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Financial Assistance
About 50% of the patients who come to K.E.M. are from the poor or middle class sections of society. For them medical treatment, especially hospitalisation, is a back breaking financial burden. The hospital tries to help in some cases by giving concessions in the charges and, occasionally, by waiving them altogether. But the patients still have to buy medicines & provide their own food. Some of them cannot even afford this. The Department of Medical Social Work steps in here too and tries to help with the medicines and extra, or even basic, nutrition. For this purpose, the Department arranges fund raising programmes and has set up a Poor Patient's Fund. It is helped in its endeavours by a few regular donors and some charitable organisations.

Won't you came forward and help?
(Donations sent to Social Service Department, K.E.M.H., A/c. "Prerana "are subject to Income–Tax deduction under section 80–Gof the Income–Tax Act.)
Please Write to
Social Service Department
K.E.M. Hospital, Rasta Peth,
Pune 411011. (india)
Phone: +91 20 66037369


The Department of Medical Social Work has some other Important Activities
Activities of Support Group
Our Prerana support group has many benefits. It helps the patients learn more about cancer and coping up with the disease and the resultant stress in a better way, thereby helping them to find a new focus in life. Our Prerana Group focuses on family concerns such as role changes, relationship changes, financial worries and ways to support the person who has cancer. Therefore, the primary reason people join our support group is to talk openly about their feelings and to gain support to deal with practical problems such as the side effects of the treatment, mental anxiety in the patient and family members and various other issues that they have to deal with.

The Prerana Support Group extends help to cancer survivors in every possible way. right from negotiating the routes to the treatment, hospitalization, therapies etc. to the emotional support and bringing a semblance of normalcy in their lives, the group members take turns to be there provides an opportunity for both the visitors and for the MSWs here to learn about social work practices in each others countries.

We, the “Prerana” members look forward to your support for furthering our activities, for providing financial assistance to families who cannot afford treatment and proper nutrition.

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