Pallium India, which has been spearheading the palliative care movement in Kerala, has opened the first formal Palliative Care Training Centre in the city.

The training centre has been named Bruce Davis Training Centre, in honour of Bruce Davis, head of a UK-based charity trust, who has been a benefactor of the palliative care movement in India for over a decade now.

The training centre was inaugurated by the Mayor, K. Chandrika, here on Tuesday.

“The Medical Council of India had taken a decision in December last to begin MD course in Palliative Medicine. While this is a positive development, it could be a while before this gets to the implementation stage. The new training centre is Pallium India’s effort towards encouraging professional education in palliative medicine, the chairman of Pallium India,” M. R. Rajagopal, said.

“We have decided to name our centre after Bruce Davis, out of our affection for this individual, who has been personally involved in the palliative care work of Pallium India and has remained a source of great inspiration and strength for us,” Dr. Rajagopal said.

Bruce Davies had set up his charitable trust in the UK in 1967 and was working in the area of cancer care. By the 1980s, the work done by the Trust had spread nationally into a most effective force for the relief of pain, both physical and mental, for cancer patients and others suffering from terminal illnesses.

Following the great improvement of cancer care in the UK, the Trust decided to use the expertise that they had gained in the home environment for the betterment of cancer care services in other countries where such services were almost nil.

The Bruce Davis’ Trust’s association with the palliative movement in Kerala began in the late 1990s when one of the Nurse Consultants of the Trust visited Kozhikode. Since then, the Trust has been supporting all activities related to the palliative movement in Kerala financially as well by way of rendering training to nurses and volunteers.

The new training centre set up by Pallium India is intended as a national-level centre to train doctors and nurses and to empower NGO initiatives in the area of palliative care because formal training facilities in palliative medicine is next to nothing in the entire country.

The six-weeks’ course which has been planned by Pallium India now will devote one-third of the training programme towards pain management while another one-third will deal with how psychological and social support should be extended to patients as well as addressing issues of rehabilitation.

“How should a doctor `listen’ to his patient? Learning to listen to a patient and to respond to him/her is something that a doctor working in this field should train himself for,” Dr. Rajagopal said.

Handling the medical complications of various illnesses, how to start a palliative care service are also dealt with in the programme.

Bruce Davis and his wife loved sailing. They used to set sail on the “Cuckoo”, their boat which they had had for many decades. Mr. Davis, in his 80s now and ailing, recently sold this boat of his. The entire proceeds were donated to Pallium India for furnishing the new training centre at Pattom.

Though Bruce Davis might never be able to visit the capital city, the training centre named after him will always be a reminder to all palliative care workers, the goodwill and affection he has always had for the team of palliative care volunteers in Kerala, Dr. Rajagopal said.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 4:56:15 AM |

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