Palliative Care is a relatively new area of work for INF, however, it has not taken long to get on its feet and is already racing ahead with staff travelling far and wide across Nepal and India to assess areas where it may be possible to develop Palliative Care centres as well as provide trainings and participate in forums.

From 11-17 Feb a team of INF staff along with a staff member from the Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital visited Pune, India. There they attended the Indian Association for Palliative Care Congress and presented three papers relating to INF’s work; results from the pain audit of leprosy patients at Green Pastures Hospital; a literature review relating to palliative care and the recent earthquake, and an evaluation of a project in North India. The team were also invited to a forum on developing palliative care in India and the surrounding region, which took place during the congress, and used this opportunity to network and develop links for future work as well as learn from each other.

The week after that, they attended the National Strategy for Palliative Care forum in Kathmandu. This recent event facilitated by the Nepalese Association Of Palliative Care [NAPCare] and the Two Worlds Cancer Collaborative [Canada] will result in a National Strategy for Palliative Care in Nepal to be launched in August 2016. The 30 invited participants represented government, WHO and Nepali stakeholders. INF was represented by: Dr Dan Munday, Dr Ruth Powys [Russell], Regina Basnyat, and Ian Chadwell. The aim of the forum was to start developing a palliative care strategy which can be adopted by the government and which will set the direction of travel for future palliative care development in Nepal Encouraging results have emerged from the forum and it is hoped that the resultant National Strategy of Palliative Care in Nepal will be launched June-July this year. Results from the needs assessment being undertaken by INF [funded by EMMS International] were presented by Dan and provided key input.

Two weeks of palliative care training under the umbrella of the National Health Training Centre is currently running. Ruth and Dan along with NAPCare colleagues are providing the teaching. Manju and Purna Maya [INF Nepal’s first palliative care community worker] are participating.

INF is committed to palliative care as a new core area, and these exciting national developments will underpin INF’s ongoing work.

We think you will agree it is exciting to see our Palliative Care work having such on influence in its field and ask for you prayer for continued training events and opportunity to strengthen networks. Also pray for good relationships with key Nepali palliative care champions and for wisdom in encouraging and strengthening NAPCare in its key role in palliative care development and coordination in Nepal.