There have been exciting times recently for our palliative care team.
Last week a reporter from Scottish Television spent a few days traveling with the INF palliative care team. She was filming a series of reports about our partner, EMMS International which is funding some of our palliative care projects.
As part of EMMS International's 175th anniversary celebrations, the reports will be shown on STV News. The first will be broadcast at 6pm on 28 November and the series will feature our palliative care work in Tansen, Pokhara, Lamjung and Gorkha.
INF's Palliative Care Nurse, Manju, was interviewed for the programmes. She says,
"For me, serving God and serving the poor are one and the same. If I can relieve the suffering of others, then I do this with a glad heart.
"I bring God's love, pain relief and comfort to people who are very sick with cancer or other incurable diseases. I help them live with dignity even though they are 'walking through the valley of the shadow of death."
To see more in this series of videos including interviews with Alastair Seaman and Dipak Maharjan visit EMMS on Youtube
Palliative care and INF
INF’s palliative care work exemplifies our vision for life in all its fullness for the poorest and most disadvantaged Nepalis. It is not simply about pain relief for the dying, but enabling those with terminal or life-limiting conditions to live well.
Economic conditions in Nepal often make it very difficult for people to get the care they need. Medical help and drugs are expensive for those Nepalis who live a hand-to-mouth existence. Having a sick member of the family, who cannot be productive, can be the thing which tips the family into destitution. Desperate people sometimes feel that their only option is leave their sick or disabled relative to die so that they are no longer an intolerable burden on the family. In such circumstances, palliative care is not even considered.
It is not surprising then, that palliative care is very new to Nepal, and is not available to most people. But the need is growing. There are increasing rates of conditions such as cancer, diabetes, chronic heart disease, and respiratory disease. The World Health Organisation estimated that three out of every five deaths in Nepal in 2014 were related to such illness. Most of these would have benefited if palliative care had been available to them.