Assisi Palliative Care Berhad, Malaysia, has been selected as IAHPC’s 2018 Annual Institutions Award winner. This is the second year of the award, which bestows a $2,000 USD grant to an institution that has joined as a lifetime member. The winner is randomly selected. Join now to be in the pool of potential winners in 2019!
Assisi Palliative Care Berhad (ASPAC) is a charitable organization providing free, professional palliative care services to the community. Based in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, ASPAC’s mission is to provide care in a home setting for those faced with life-limiting illnesses, regardless of race, religion, gender, or socioeconomic status.
‘Our commitment is to deliver skilled, compassionate care to ameliorate symptoms and relieve suffering,’ says Dr. Lalitha Jeyasingam. ‘We focus on meeting the medical and emotional needs of patients and provide support to everyone caring for them. It is our hope that this will allow patients to be with their families for as long as possible, making every moment together special.
‘Most of our referrals come from public hospitals and consist primarily of adult patients with advanced cancer. However, we are increasingly receiving referrals of patients with progressive non-cancer illnesses. A small number of children are also being referred for pediatric palliative care.’
The team comprises two doctors, five nurses, a counselor, dispenser, and volunteers who strive to meet patients’ physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs. Medical equipment — such as hospital beds, oxygen concentrators, wheelchairs, etc. — are loaned to those who need them. Medications are supplied as and when they are available. Syringe pumps with subcutaneous infusions of medicines for patients are set up at their homes, when necessary.
ASPAC offers one-day training programs for volunteers, nurses, and other health care workers, as, ‘We believe that continuous professional development is important for staff to deliver skilled palliative care in a holistic manner,’ says Dr. Jeyasingam. Medical students and other undergraduates are accepted for short attachment postings. Senior palliative medicine consultants from a premier teaching hospital, University Malaya Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur, act as medical advisors.
ASPAC publishes a newsletter twice a year to inform the public about its activities. A fundraising dinner being held in August will be supplemented with donations sought from the community ASPAC serves.
‘Many of the families of the patients we looked after continue to support us,’ says Dr. Jeyasingam. ‘Our vision for 2019 is to be able to have adequate funding to employ a physiotherapist and a Volunteer Coordinator. A long-term goal (which I hold dear to my heart) is to offer in-patient hospice care in the future, in a designated facility for patients who need more skilled care than can be provided at home. It will offer respite care, EOL care and serve as a support system for patients who are facing difficult symptoms or other crises at home.’
Pictures and descriptions of ASPAC training programs and activities can be viewed on the ASPAC-Assisi Palliative Care Facebook page or on its website.
Read the list of individuals who joined/renewed their membership with IAHPC during the past month.
|Rosa Maria Benitez Martinez||Mexico|
|Carlos Centeno Atlantes Research Program. Institute for Culture and Society University of Navarra||Spain|
|Helen Surgeon Butterfly Children's Hospices||United Kingdom|
|Eduardo Garcia Yaneo||Uruguay|
|Metro South Palliative Care Service, Metro South Health, Queensland Health||Australia|
|Bruna Moreira de Souza Proenca||Brazil|
|Luisa Fernanda Arenas Ochoa||Colombia|
|Linda Marisol Bustamante Tuchez||Guatemala|
|I Made Pramana Dharmatika||Indonesia|
|Fondazione Maruzza Lefebvre D'Ovidio Onlus||Italy|
|Eugenia Lopez Romboli||New Zealand|
|Karen Jane Wenceslao||Philippines|
|Knysna Sedgefield Hospice||South Africa|
|Magdalena Van Jaarsveld||South Africa|
|Mitchell Robert Scott||South Africa|