Srimatha Cancer Care plans world-class hospice

The charitable organisation helps terminally-ill patients handle the fear of death

August 16, 2014 01:47 pm | Updated 01:47 pm IST - Chennai:

Dedicated to a cause : Besides a trained doctor, four nurses and four attenders work round-the-clock at Srimatha Cancer Care's existing hospice.

Dedicated to a cause : Besides a trained doctor, four nurses and four attenders work round-the-clock at Srimatha Cancer Care's existing hospice.

The terminally ill are broken in body. And it does not take much to break their spirit. They easily give in to depression when their families discard them.

Srimatha Cancer Care, a charitable organisation in Indira Nagar, has taken into its fold several such terminally ill patients, when they were at the jaws of death and uncared for. It has provided palliative care to them and breathed some joy into their sad lives.

The organisation is ready for expansion. Its executive trustee Vijayasree Mahadevan says

land, measuring around four-and-a-half grounds, has been identified at Thoraipakkam on OMR for the construction of a world-class hospice. To start with, 50 beds will be set up at the hospice. Besides palliative care, it will focus on cancer prevention.

Vijayashree entered this field of social service in a striking manner. As a journalist, she had gone to interview the founder of Sri Matha Trust, V. Krishanmoorty.

He was running the dharmasala at the Cancer Institute premises in Adyar, for outstation patients.

Inspired by his service and touched by the plight and agony of the poor cancer patients, she took to the charity work.

She had studied about hospice care and felt that Chennai needed a word-class hospice.

She sought the Government’s help, but the delay in receiving it forced her to strike out on her own. She rented a space in Indira Nagar and launched her hospice.

Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital took note of her commendable work and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Srimatha Cancer Care. The hospital has been shifting its terminally ill patients to the hospice.

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan and the Dean of G.H., Dr. V. Kanagasabai were present at the time the MoU was signed.

Besides a doctor specially trained in palliative care, four nurses and four attenders are working at the hospice round the clock.

A free canteen and pharmacy are also functioning. Sreematha Care is also providing a dialysis facility free of cost to both inpatients and outpatients.

Vijayasree, who is involved in the setting up of the Thoraipakkam hospice, says hers should be the first and last hospice in Chennai and she was praying that “cancer would get eradicated from the country”. Her dedication has impressed several institutions which have honoured her with awards, the latest being the Anna University conferring on her the ‘Inspiring Woman Award’ for the year.

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