Since we all hit by Covid crisis, I personally got it hit me on my face when due to lockdown, I was unable to do my work and was made to stay at home. It is during this period that I received quite few referrals of patients suffering from cancer. Many of these were those who were in their terminal stage. They were in severe pain and suffering due to other symptoms, so much so that they were not even been able to sleep at nights. With utmost hope they were referred to me thinking that I would be able to help them as almost all the Hospitals refused to admit these patients. As I understood the criticality of the patients, I knew they need immediate care for their symptoms. Despite my contacts in various Hospitals, I failed to help these patients and most of them succumbed to their pain at home. I felt so much pain in heart thinking that how I helpless I hv become that I was not been able to help a person sleep without pain. And it all happened because there was no place where I could have send these patients for immediate care. It was at this very moment that I realized that there has to be a place where people could reach for care and support when every other door is closed. With this intention to relieve the sufferings of those in need, I decided to set up a Palliative Care Center in Delhi.
For a country with a population of 130 crore, just 1%- 2% people have access to palliative care or pain management. Palliative care is management aimed at improving the quality of life of patients and their family members when they face serious health problems. That suffering can be physical such as breathlessness, pain, a nasty wound or psychological, social, or spiritual such as depression, social isolation. It can also be a question that bothers you; like ‘What is point of life?’ Palliative care aims at identifying these issues, taking away what we can and easing their journey. Pain is the most common symptom. It affects the body and the mind. Unless we treat pain, we cannot take away the emotional stress or the suffering completely.
In a pandemic such as Covid-19, the suffering of the patient is tremendous. Generally, attention isn’t given towards human suffering. This is the core issue we want to focus on. Suffering is three-fold -- physical such as breathlessness and
agitations, emotional such as fear and guilt, and social issues including the stigma one faces as they get back home -- these need to be addressed.
As most of the Government Run Hospitals are converted into fully Covid treating facility, the non Covid chronic illness sufferers would be left to die at home in pain without getting access to basic healthcare. So, a palliative care set up in such a condition would not only help serve these people which constitute the major population but would also help in reducing the burden from the tertiary hospitals in managing Covid cases. It is the responsibility of us to ensure health and safety for ourselves and people around us. The money raised through this campaign would help us serve the non Covid patients at home and in OPD. The services would be free of cost for the poor patient. We would need money for medicines for any such patient who need management for his/her symptoms. This include both- those infected by Covid and affected by the pandemic ( non covid). Help us today so that we help you tomorrow. Suffering is immense. The need is huge and the time is less.