Vijayapuram- 6 months down the track - July newsletter
Welcome to the very first newsletter from Vijayapuram in Southern India.
It’s been six months since Local Representative, Joseph AM posted this project on Nabuur. Over this Neighbours have spent a lot of time researching, investigating and helping Joseph take the first steps in making his project become real. We still have a long way to go- but a little progress has definitely been made. This newsletter aims to provide a summary of discussions so far. It’s a bit long so grab yourself a cup of coffee! If you are new to this Village we welcome you and look forward to your contributions.
Brief background to the Home-Based Medical Care Project
• The project is about setting up a community-based medical care programme to help improve the quality of life for poor, elderly, bed-bound people who suffer from dementia (Alzheimer’s Disease) or require palliative (end-of-life) care in their homes.
• There are very few support systems for patients who suffer from dementia in India. Here, symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease are often mistaken for general aging or tied in with superstitious beliefs that ‘evil spirits’ have taken hold. Many Indians are unaware of Alzheimer’s Disease and it’s impact on all aspects of a sufferer’s life. There is no cure for AD.
• Carers (almost always family) receive very little or no support at all from local health clinics. Finding the money to buy medication, clean and re-insert nasal tubes and catheters etc, buy water beds to prevent bed sores, is very difficult for those families who are already very poor. Finding money and a vehicle to transport relatives to the nearest hospital is also very difficult. But these are all necessities and often lead to further debt for carers. There is no psychological support or training for carer’s either.
• Vijayapuram is situated in the district of Kottayam in Kerala, a southern state of India. The State of Kerala is at the forefront of setting up support structures to deal with the increasing number of dementia patients. There is however, a lot of work to be done- especially in trying to provide and link government-sponsored health facilities and medical support to treat AD patients.
• The community has about 29,000 inhabitants, of which approximately 1 in 12 elderly people over the age of 65 has some type of dementia.
Snapshot of the Project:
The Home Based Medical Care Programme will ideally, consist of three main services:
• A free Ambulance service for the disabled and bed ridden elderly patients, especially the Alzheimer’s and palliative patients, to be taken to medical appointments or hospital. The ambulance will also transport the Programmes’ doctors and nurses and community aids.
• Access to basic medical care, equipment and medicines, and support to care for the elderly sick.
• An awareness raising and education program for the local community around Alzheimer’s disease and how to care for the chronically ill. A support programme for carers.
We have investigated many possible funding sources. We haven’t had any luck yet, however under the Resources section on Nabuur you will be able to see which organisations we have researched and followed up. There are plenty of groups out there who can provide funding or assistance in with many aspects of the home-care medical programme. Trying to secure some funding for the purchase of essential medical goods and medication is a priority. Trying to find a way to transport the doctors and nurses to the patients’ home is also a priority. A second hand van or even car would be ideal!
Results so far
• Joseph has now linked his project with a local community based organisation called “Human Resource Education and Socio Economic Development Centre” (HRESEDC). The Programme will be the first project that this organization is going to take on. The group is made up of locals, including the board members who are willing to voluntary their service to help Joseph in this task
• Contact has been made with Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) which is a national voluntary organization dedicated to the care, support, and research of dementia. They have given Joseph some contacts and information and we will ideally be working towards a stronger partnership with ARDSI.
• Contact was made with the Neighbourood Network in Palliative Care which has a network of about 150 Palliative Care clinics supported by 10,000 trained volunteers, 85 doctors and 270 nurses looking after about 25,000 patients. Through NNPC Joseph was able to contact the Kerala Chapter of the Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) and a meeting was held with the Secretary where it was agreed that a palliative care awareness seminar would be held in Vijayapuram. This meeting was held in May by Mr Tomy George, the coordinator for IAPC Kottayam chapter. A small number of locals attended this meeting and participants felt it was useful. Mr George has agreed to run a one day training session for community volunteers. It is intended that HRESEDC will host this and other education sessions.
• Through this connection with IAPC, Dr Koyakkutty, a palliative care doctor, has agreed to begin home visits in Vijayapuram on Saturdays. Dr Koyakkutty will also have a trained nurse with him from Mandiram Hospital Manganam. They will be able to visit the patients by using a vehicle from the Hospital.
• In a very recent development, Joseph has been able to secure advice from another local doctor, Dr Nidhish.
Call to Action
• Help develop a programme plan
• Help investigate funding sources for the programme
• Help Joseph link in with existing organisations in India who can assist
• Contribute knowledge about the Indian health care system
• Spread the word about the programme to friends who know about aged-care & dementia care.
• Read this key article posted by Bram from the Netherlands: http://southasia.oneworld.net/fromthegrassroots/barefoot-healthcare-prov...
“ Thousands of volunteers in southern Indian state of Kerala provide palliative care to poor chronically ill patients within the confines of their homes. K.M. Basheer, the man behind this medical movement, is a farmer with a modest educational background.”
|Palliative Care Seminar held in May 09||6.27 KB|