Grantee details

Traveling Scholars Program Report

Sanghamitra Bora, DR

Travel date: February 11, 2022

Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: 29th International Conference of Indian Association for Palliative Care

Origin: Kolkata, India / Destination: Jaipur, India

How was this meeting/activity helpful to you?

Being a clinician, I was inclined towards topics of clinical interest like Safe use of Methadone, Ethics in Clinical practice & research in Palliative Care, Palliative care in Renal, Respiratory and Cardiovascular ailments, etc. knowing about Expert consensus white paper that provides simple methods for converting an opioid to Methadone is of great importance and shall imbibe a lot of confidence in avoiding polypharmacy in pain management and use of Methadone. The session on patients with Interstitial Lung Disease touched upon the needs assessment tool and how joint palliative respiratory clinics make a difference in the care provided to such patients. The Needs Assessment Tool – Progressive disease – ILD (NAT-PD-ILD) is a valid and reliable tool that helps identify and triage patients and help professionals identify physical and psychosocial symptoms. Such joint clinics allow pulmonologists, patients, families and palliative care physicians to be on the same page which improves the patient experience, reduce the financial burden on patients, address sufferings of chronic respiratory disease patients which includes prolonged hospital stays, ICU issues, mental stress and dependency.

How will you new knowledge & acquired skills help in furthering your work in hospice and palliative care in your program/city/ or country?

The learning process have been great in this virtual conference and I have gained a lot. I would like to introduce a Clinical Audit Cycle to improve upon the existing palliative care service. Sensitizing oncologists in my organization is the second step that will give access to more and more patients who are in need and shall benefit from palliative care interventions. Physicians involved in providing general clinical care in my present organization shall be trained in basics of palliative care and that will leverage more and more trained people taking interest on adopting palliative care approach in treating patients. Awareness generation programs for the community will be an important part in all the programs that I have planned throughout the year.

How IAHPC Traveling Scholars Program be improved in order to help other future traveling scholars?

The scholarship should be considered for promoting deserving scholars to pursue higher studies in reputed institutions.

Narrative summary highlighting the needs and challanges you face

The use of Methadone in pain management have been a topic of discussion in many forums as clinicians are reluctant to use it in Indian settings due to a lack of proper knowhow and fear of side effects. More and more training programs should be done to facilitate the use of this very cheap and immensely useful drug in all palliative care settings. Availability and accessibility of this drug is an issue, but that can be improved with proper awareness and collaborative efforts of the ministry and local palliative care champions. The importance of early integration of palliative care principles in all Oncology and non-oncology set ups needs to be encouraged and its importance highlighted amongst policy makers, administrators, and professionals so that more and more newer set ups could be established and the palliative services reach the needy. I plan to campaign in these areas in the coming year to promote palliative care in all spheres.