Palliative Care for Maya
Maya* was a recent beneficiary of INF's palliative care programme.
She was a hard working, 44-year-old single mother. Her only child was her 12-year-old daughter. Maya's quality of life took a turn for the worse after being diagnosed with late stage cervical cancer. She found the symptoms of the disease and the physical pain overwhelming for her. Alongside these problems, the stigma associated with the cancer caused a loss of self-esteem, and of hope for the future. Sadly, it became clear that no treatment could cure Maya, so she was admitted to a hospice where she could get the best help to alleviate her symptoms.
But Maya's main concern was for her daughter who would be left all by herself after she was gone.
The hospice team along with INF’s Palliative Care Nurse, Manju, provided Maya with pain relief and other symptom management. But they also did much more for her. They provided psychological, social and spiritual support for her, as well as for her family. The hospice care allowed her to live the last days of her life as well as possible, and to die with dignity. Maya’s sister-in-law has promised to take care of her daughter.
There are many more people like Maya who are living with conditions that cannot be cured. Some need help to live with long-term conditions, while others need support as they reach the end of their lives. Palliative care can make a huge difference for these people.
INF's Palliative Care Work
INF’s Palliative Care programme began at Green Pastures Hospital in 2013. It aims to provide holistic care to people with life limiting illnesses, and their families. It includes pain and symptom management as well as end-of-life care. With INF’s focus on poor and marginalised people, we are in a unique position to contribute to palliative care development in Nepal, particularly in the under-resourced Western Regions.
*Maya’s name has been changed to protect her anonymity.