Guwahati’s Dr Bhubaneswar Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) has joined in a nation wide initiative to launch a palliative care helpline. A palliative care helpline (‘Saath-Saath) was launched by a consortium of 11 palliative care organisations across India on October 7 on World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. The helpline will address the inequity in access to palliative care services for patients and their caregivers.
This initiative is a joint effort between 11 leading palliative care organizations in the country– BBCI, Guwahati; Can Support, Delhi; Romila Palliative Care, Mumbai; Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai; Pal Care, Mumbai; Sukoon Nilaya, Mumbai; Cipla Palliative Care & Training Centre, Pune; Karunashraya, Bengaluru; Pallium India, Thiruvanthapuram,; Pain Relief and Palliative Care Society, Hyderabad and The Indian Association of Palliative Care. Callers seeking assistance can get connected to palliative services in their preferred language from Assamese, Hindi, English, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, and Marathi. A launch was marked by a webinar, which was joined by the department of palliative medicine and other faculty members from the BBCI.
India with a 1.2 billion population has a huge burden of suffering from life limiting diseases. Less than 1% of its population has access to pain relief and palliative care. By offering pan-India coverage in multiple languages, this service aims that no person with a serious illness feels alone and can be connected to options such as pain relief, physiotherapy, diet advice and family counselling to assist them and their caregiver, with the help of qualified Healthcare Professionals and trained volunteers.
Speaking at the launch, Rumana Hamied, Managing Trustee, Cipla Foundation & Cipla Palliative Care & Training Centre, said, “The Saath-Saath helpline is a collaborative effort that offers an opportunity to people living with serious illnesses to find the right connects to get care that is responsive to their needs, at any point in their ailment journey.”
The toll-free helpline ‘1800-202-7777’ will be operational from Monday to Saturday between 10 am to 6 pm. It offers direct service provision in cities like Guwahati, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, and Hyderabad.