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Palliative Care through Improved Cancer Pain Policy

Review Meeting on Addressing Palliative Care through Improved Cancer Pain Policy
Cancer Aid Society

February 10th 2009(Tuesday),
Venue – Telemedicine Auditorium
Organised by Cancer Aid Society
& Regional Cancer Centre,
SGPGIMS Lucknow.

Palliative Care can be termed as Care beyond Cure. According to world Health Organisation – Oral Morphine is the Drug of choice in the Cancer Pain Management. The use of Oral Morphine has increased across the Globe however the same is continuously declining in our Country raising questions on the palliative care facilities. In the crusade for the availability and use of Oral Morphine – an integral component in the Palliative Care of the Cancer Patients who suffer from excruciating pain in its absence, American Cancer Society has come out to strengthen the fight by awarding a Project to the Cancer Aid Society and Pallium India for Addressing Palliative Care through Improved Cancer Pain Policy under which the Workshops were conducted at the Medical Colleges of the most populous State of U.P. having 16% of Indian and 3% of Global Population and lacks realistic initiative in Cancer Pain Management in sharp contrast to the Southern States seeking answer to the following Question:

Even hardcore criminals sentenced to death are asked for their last desire, which is fulfilled, all civilized nations aim at painless death even for them. Isn’t it unfortunate that in our Country patients getting death warrants by Cancer have to suffer for months or years in excruciating pain cursing themselves for none of their sins, praying for an early death?
Yes! Says World Health Organisation by giving them Oral Morphine. Then why are they deprived of this at the cost of their sufferings despite India being one of the largest producers of Opium?

Mr. David Jorason (Director PPSG – World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre) and Mr. Dedrik Lohman (Human Rights Watch) came from USA to help us find the answer along with Dr. Rajagopal at the Review Meeting of the Workshops organized by Regional Cancer Centre at Tele–Medicine Auditorium of SGPGIMS in which Mr.David Joranson was Chief Guest. Mr. David commended the Cancer Aid Society for the Herculean task of Organising 6 Workshops on Oral Morphine in UP in a span of a Year and a Half and making Oral Morphine available in 3 Institutions. Dr. AK Mahapatra Director SGPGIMS was Presiding Officer emphasized that dedicated Palliative Care facilities should be available in the Institute, Dr. Rajagopal Chairman of Pallium India emphasized that about 2 Lakhs Cancer patients in UP may roughly require 100 mg of Oral Morphine Daily. Dr.DP Gupta President Cancer Aid Society, Dr. Dixit Director JK Cancer Institute Kanpur, HODs of Anesthesia of all other Medical Colleges came hand in hand with Dr.Anil Agarwal Prof. Anesthesiology who welcomed the Guests along with Dr.Neeraj Rastogi. Mr. Deepak Agarwal Sr. Technical Officer State Excise Head Quarters Allahabad assured his cooperation in Licensing. Sisters of Shanti Niketan a Hospice at Kursi Road Lucknow shared there experiences.

Mr. Piyush Gupta shared the experiences of the Workshops at SGPGIMS, CSMMU Lucknow and GSVM Kanpur, LLRM Meerut, RLB Jhansi and SN Medical College Agra.
Mrs. Poonam Bagai, Chairman Cankids conducted the Panel Discussions.
Dr. Anil Agarwal, Professor Anesthesiology SGPGIMS Lucknow spoke on Oral Morphine.
Dr. Monika Kohli, Assoc. Prof. Anesthesiology CSMMU Lucknow spoke on Adjuvants.
Heads of Anesthesia of all the Medical Colleges emphasized on networking on the issue so that the Cancer Patients may get relief in the nearby areas and avoid traveling long distances in relief of pain.
Vote of Thanks was given by Mr. OP Berry Director Cancer Aid Society.

Later in the day Mr. David and Dr. Rajagopal met the Shri SM Bobde Excise Commissioner of UP who assured the cooperation from his Department . Oral Morphine is now available at SGPGIMS & CSMMU Lucknow and GSVM Kanpur.

David E. Joranson is Distinguished Scientist, Pain & Policy Studies Group (PPSG) at the University of Wisconsin, USA. PPSG is a part of the Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center in the School of Medicine and Public Health, and is a World Health Organization Collaborating Center (WHOCC). The WHOCC develops methods to evaluate drug control policies for “Balance,” i.e., so that control of drugs does not interfere with their availability for medical purposes. The Center has designed workshops that have convened doctors and drug regulators all over the world. to work out ways to ensure patient access to pain relief medicines such as morphine. He came to India beginning in 1990 at the request of the WHO to study the drug regulatory set–up and make suggestions for improvement. He has worked with palliative care experts and the Indian Association of Palliative Care, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Narcotics Commissioner of India and state officials.

Dr. MR Rajagopal, Professor of Pain and Palliative Medicine, SUT Academy of Medical Sciences, Trivandrum and Founder Chairman Pallium India an organization trying to improve the palliative care facilities in the Country.

Piyush Gupta
Cancer Aid Society
Mob No: +91 9335166600


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