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INDIA, Rishikesh, 28th January, 2019
Ganga Prem Team at IAPC Course
Two GPH volunteer doctors gave talks at the Rishikesh AIIMS Indian Association of Palliative Care training course on 28th January. GPH social worker, pharmacist and two nurses also attended the lectures.


 

 

INDIA, Rishikesh, 27th January, 2019
January Clinic
The North Indian winters were at the severest when Ganga Prem Hospice hosted its monthly cancer clinic in Rishikesh on January 27, 2019.


 

 


Even so, patients continued to come from far-away places - one patient and his family setting off on a six-hour journey to Rishikesh from the mountainous Uttarkashi in the wee hours of the morning. They phoned the Ganga Prem helpline as the day broke, to inform us they were almost down to the plains and about to reach in two hours. 

Five doctors, including a senior surgical oncologist, a senior gynaecologist, a thoracic surgeon, and two palliative care doctors were present to provide consultation to the eighty-one patients who visited the clinic.

Complementary tea and food were provided to all patients and their carers on what was a cold cloudy day while one of the volunteers distributed oranges to the waiting patients 

Out of the eighty-one patients who visited the clinic, 51 were proven cancer cases and another four were suspected of cancer. Four patients were counselled extensively and offered follow-up care by the Ganga Prem Hospice team. The ages of the patients varied from twelve year old children to the oldest patient who was ninety. Thirty-three percent of the patients were above the age of sixty. 

One patient and his family were brought back to the Hospice for immediate care as he was too weak to return home. On Monday when he felt a little stronger he was taken to a Rishikesh  hospital for tests


 

 

INDIA, Gohri Maphi, 26th January, 2019
GPH Volunteer Palliative Care Training
On Jan. 26th, a group of about 100 hospice volunteers assembled at the GPH in-patient facility for a full day’s program of palliative care training.


   
En Route to GPH for Volunteer Training

En Route to GPH for Volunteer Training

Volunteer Training

Volunteer Training

   

 

 

Participants were members of the following groups from Rishikesh and Dehradun: Sai Soham Trust, Government Degree College, the cadets of Bharat Mandir Inter College, Rishikesh Volunteers and the faculty of Seema Dental College. The ten instructional sessions featured GPH founder, Dr. A.K. Dewan, as well as four additional medical doctors, a nurse and a social worker. Lecture topics included: care of the elderly, volunteers’ role in symptom relief, communication skills, psychosocial issues, the role of the larger community, and care of caregivers.

Hospice spiritual advisor, Nani Mai, also gave a presentation on the important and often overlooked issue of spiritual care at the end of life. Participants enjoyed the opportunity to deepen their knowledge, share experiences and tour the hospice. 


 

 

INDIA, Haridwar, 11th January, 2019
GPH Children at Sri Ram Ashram
Group activities are an important source of therapy for bereaved children, children with cancer, and children who have a parent suffering from cancer.


 

 


Ganga Prem Hospice takes children of patients, and children who are patients themselves on an annual day-outing, to the Sri Ram Ashram children's home in Haridwar. The outing usually takes place during the winter school holidays.This yearly event is much looked forward to by everybody.

On the 11th of January, 2019, thirteen GPH children from nine families, joined the children and team of Sri Ram Ashram for the special day. Many parents also accompanied their children in the GPH vehicles which started out for the ashram at 9.00 am on what turned out to be a lovely sunny day.  


   
The outing brings a smile to a patient’s face

The outing brings a smile to a patient’s face

Bereaved families relaxing in the sun

Bereaved families relaxing in the sun

   

 

 

The outdoor swings were the most popular attraction in the playground where children had the opportunity to explore the climbing structures and slides or just jump around, and roll in the sandpits. It was a day filled with fun and games - a very welcome break for the children coming as they were from the difficult circumstances at home. This was evident when one of the mothers asked her 6 year old son to stop playing as it was time for the GPH team to leave, and the son innocently replied to her that she could go back home, and he would return the next day!
   
“I’ll come home tomorrow”

“I’ll come home tomorrow”

nacks were offered before the games started

Snacks were offered before the games started

   

 

 

The children, most of whom were under ten years of age, were treated to welcome snacks when they reached the Ashram, followed by a delicious lunch, and then some freshly prepared aloo tikkis. The children not only had their fill there, but were also indulgently allowed to pack the snacks to take back home. 
   
Enjoying in the playground

Enjoying in the playground 

Goodbye until next year!

Goodbye until next year!

   

 

 

As the Ganga Prem Hospice vehicles dropped the children back to their houses, they could be heard reporting animatedly to their families about the action-packed day they had. 

"Everyone at the ashram loves this day", said Rashmi Cole, matron of the Sri Ram Ashram. The sentiments were exactly the same at Ganga Prem Hospice!

 


 

INDIA, Rudrapur & Champavat, 9-11th January, 2019
Pallium – Ganga Prem at Rudrapur & Champavat
In keeping with the goal of expanding hospice and palliative care (PC) throughout Uttarakhand state, two GPH doctors and an administrator travelled to Rudrapur and Champawat during the second week of January.


 

 


Situated in the far south of the State, Rudrapur is the fifth largest city in Uttarakhand. Champawat is a smaller mountain town near the Nepalese border. Both towns are the headquarters for their districts, Udham Singh Nagar and Champawat respectively.

On Jan. 9th, the team visited two hospitals in Rudrapur. At the Government District Hospital they toured the new PC ward accompanied by local physicians. In the afternoon, GPH doctors conducted a training and role play session for ten doctors and nurses at Jawahar Lal Nehru District Hospital. As a result of this visit, two doctors and four nurses will be visiting the GPH in-patient facility for additional training. The following day, the team met with the District Magistrate who expressed his commitment to expanding palliative care in his territory. He indicated that funding would not be an obstacle and requested input from GPH for clinical development, sensitization sessions and continuing education. His enthusiasm and understanding are encouraging signs for the immediate future of palliative care in the district. 

   
GPH doctors at Rudrapur

GPH doctors at Rudrapur

Asha workers at Champavat

Asha workers at Champavat

   

 

 

On Jan. 11th, the team travelled to Champawat for a day of meetings and sensitization sessions. At the District Hospital of Champawat, the GPH doctors explained the principles of palliative care and guided the twenty attendees in role play exercises. Two doctors and three nurses were nominated to attend a palliative training course later in January at AIIMS hospital in Rishikesh. In the afternoon the GPH team met with the District Magistrate who, though largely unfamiliar with the need for palliative care, was receptive to the development of services in his district.  

 


 

INDIA, Rishikesh, 30th December, 2018
Krishna Das Benefit Concert in Rishikesh
It has been a decade in Rishikesh since Krishna Das (KD) has been playing annually at a charity concert in aid of Ganga Prem Hospice, and the magic has not dimmed one bit.


   
Nina, Krishna Das and Noel at the concert

Nina, Krishna Das and Noel at the concert 

The concert saw a full house

The concert saw a full house

   

 

 

The kirtan-king was accorded a hero's welcome as he entered the Ganga Prem Hospice concert venue hall on December 30th, 2018, where more than nine hundred listeners from all over India, and many countries abroad, had assembled to listen to the chant-master sing praises of the Divine. KD chanted some of his most popular chants: Om Namo Bhagvate Vasudevay, Jai Ma Durga, Om Namah Shivay, Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram, and the Hanuman Chalisa. The fans were on their feet dancing even early on in the concert. At one point, after a fast tempo chant, observing their excited state of mind and preparing for a slower chant,  Krishna Das addressed the audience with , "baith jao!".

Nina Rao, who had visited the Hospice the day before the concert and sang Hanuman Chalisa for the staff and patients, accompanied KD on the dholak, and Noah Hoffeld on the cello.


   
Nina Rao on the mridangam

Nina Rao on the mridangam 

KD with Noah on the cello

KD with Noah on the cello

   

 

 

Ganga Prem Hospice had started to receive enquiries for the concert weeks before the event, and KD enthusiasts had travelled from Pune, Bombay and Delhi, as also from Haridwar and Dehradun, to get a chance to listen to him. One ardent fan had even travelled from Ireland especially for th concer. Many of the visitors not only donated to Ganga Prem Hospice but also volunteered at the venue. The concert, its arrangements, and publicity were handled almost entirely by the volunteers and staff of Ganga Prem Hospice.


     

Hospice patients were special invitees at the event, with the hospice team bringing them to the venue in the Ganga Prem ambulance. It was a memorable three hours for everyone who attended. They went home with happy memories of the kirtan that joyously rang in the year 2019 for them.


A contended audience listen to the kirtan
A contended audience listen to the kirtan
 

 

 

 

Ganga Prem Hospice is indebted to Krishna Das, Nina Rao, and the entire KD team, for their magnanimous support of Ganga Prem Hospice.


 

 

INDIA, Rishikesh, 30th December, 2018
December Clinic
The year 2018 ended with Ganga Prem Hospice having organised thirteen cancer clinics and seen one thousand and twenty-nine patients at the clinics during the year.

The last clinic of the year was held on December 30th, when exactly eighty patients came for consultation on what started out as a very cold winter day.


   
Dr Dewan with patients

Dr Dewan with patients 

Dr Rupali Dewan and Dr Pallavi Purwar

Dr Rupali Dewan and Dr Pallavi Purwar

   

 

 

There were forty-eight cancer patients among the patients seen, six of whom were counselled and appraised for follow-up care.  A patient with cancer of the cervix who was already undergoing treatment was so scared of the temporary side-effects that she had experienced, that she refused to get her cancer treated any further. The Ganga Prem Hospice counsellors spoke to her at length and gave her reassurances. Another patient's son enquired about the home care service and requested that his mother be visited at home. There were patients who had come to the clinic from far-away mountainous districts. One such patient who had cancer of the lung and was experiencing pain, did not wish to pursue any treatment and her family did not want it too. In such instances, Ganga Prem Hospice prescribed medicines for symptom management. A paralysed 10 year child with a brain tumour was added to the home care programme.


   
Counsellors comfort a patient

Counsellors comfort a patient 

Free medicine being dispensed

Free medicine being dispensed

   

 

 

Four doctors with varying schedules and from different places arrived in Rishikesh and were involved in giving consultation to patients, with support from dental surgeons of the Seema Dental College & Hospital of Rishikesh, who advised patients on dental problems.

Volunteers continued to assist the Ganga Prem Hospice team at the clinic, calling patients, wheeling them in and out of the clinic, and serving refreshments. A donor generously arranged for food packets for patients and their carers to be delivered at the cancer clinic.

 



 

INDIA, Dehradun, December, 2018
Pallium – Ganga Prem in Dehradun
Due to the extreme cold in the mountains this month the Pallium- Ganga Prem team concentrated on Rishikesh and Dehradun.

The team met with government officials in Dehradun to further the cause of palliative care in the State of Uttarakhand and also spoke with the heads of local colleges and rotary clubs.


   
CME @ Coronation Dist Hospital Dehradun

CME @ Coronation Dist Hospital Dehradun

RDI Training Dec,2018

RDI Training Dec,2018

   

 

 

A two day palliative care training course for volunteers was held at the Rural Development Institute in Jolly Grant on the 14th and 15th of December and CMEs and sensitisation programmes were held at the Coronation District Hospital in Dehradun on 20th of December.

 


 

INDIA, Gohri Maphi, 16th December, 2018
Christmas Party at the Hospice
A Christmas party, organized by the staff of Ganga Prem Hospice, was held at the inpatient facility on Sunday, the 16th of December and was attended by more than 250 people including well over 100 children.


   
Children wait for the Christmas story

Children wait for the Christmas story

A bereaved child

A bereaved child

   

 

 

The party, which catered especially for children, was attended by patients and their families, bereaved families, GPH staff with their families, volunteers and children from the village who, seeing festivities going on, came running in from all directions.


     

For over four hours everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves with snacks, a sumptuous meal, games, music, dancing and finally a huge three tiered Christmas cake and a beautifully wrapped gift for every single child who attended. 


Three year old patient enjoys herself
Three year old patient enjoys herself
 

 

 


The guests gradually left with huge smiles and happy laughter, many of them being taken back to their homes in Dehradun, Haridwar and Rishikesh by the Hospice vehicles. The staff who were left at the hospice continued to dance in a circle together as shy late comers from the surrounding houses drifted in and were treated to slices of Christmas cake.

 


 

INDIA, Gohri Maphi, 10th December, 2018
Visit from MAMS Students
Ganga Prem Hospice was delighted to receive a visit from the children of a neighbouring school Ma Ananda Mai School in Gohri Maphi


   
A patients reads the message in his card

A patients reads the message in his card

GPH social worker addresses the students

GPH social worker addresses the students

   

 

 

Students from the 9th class of Maa Ananda Mai School visited the inpatient facility of Ganga Prem Hospice on the morning of 10th of December. The 41 students are accompanied by 3 teachers. The children conducted kirtan and recited poems for the patients. All the in-patients were delighted by the performances and also with the handmade cards gifted to them by the students. 

Ganga Prem Hospice social worker spoke to the children about cancer, symptoms and the harmful effects of substance abuse as a cause of cancer. The students were also told about the role of hospice with regard to care of cancer patients. 

The students were excited to see the Hospice work and are looking forward to coming again.

 


 

INDIA, Gohri Maphi, 2nd & 8th December, 2018
Kirtan at the Hospice
Members of Swami Ram Sadhana Gram and of the Art of Living visited the Hospice inpatient facility on the 2nd and 8th December respectively and led kirtan for the patients, carers and staff.


   
Patients and staff enjoy the kirtan on the 2nd Dec.

Patients and staff enjoy the kirtan on the 2nd Dec.

Patients and staff meditate on 8th Dec

Patients and staff meditate on 8th Dec.

   

 

 

Everyone at the Hospice was thrilled when two different kirtan groups came to the inpatient facility to lead kirtan. We had an opportunity for our new harmonium and drum to be used and all the patients attended along with the staff. Some neighbours also came hearing the kirtan from outside and as there were quite a number of Garhwali ladies present the Hindi reciting of Bhagwan’s name was interspersed with Garhwali bhajans which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. On both occasions the group also led sessions of guided meditation.

On the 29th December Nina Rao visited the inpatient facility and graciously sang Hanuman Chalisa and other kirtan with the patients and staff.


 


 
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