Nepal has an increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases like cancer, diabetes, chronic heart and respiratory disease – all of which require palliative care in the terminal stages. The World Health Organisation estimated that in 2014, 60% of deaths in Nepal were due to such illnesses. This figure will increase in coming years.
The Palliative Care programme aims to provide holistic care to people with life limiting illnesses, and their families. It includes pain and symptom management as well as end-of-life care. With INF’s focus on the poor and marginalised, we are in a unique position to contribute to palliative care development in Nepal, particularly in the under-resourced Western Regions.
INF’s Palliative Care programme had its origins in 2009 running workshops for both INF and non-INF staff, and from 2013 we were able to start offering a palliative care service at Green Pastures Hospital.
This has already provided relief to many families such as one young woman who was diagnosed with secondary cancer:
“I couldn’t afford cancer treatment, and so I would have died leaving my children wandering the streets alone.”
Because of the treatment she received at Green Pastures Hospital, she is more hopeful of a better future for her family.
“…I have had cancer treatment, and I have had good palliative care treatment here at GPH and this has saved my life. God has provided for my children who are living in a Christian hostel nearby.
“God has blessed me abundantly.”
In 2016 there are plans to commence a small community service, further develop the hospital-based service and establish a training centre in Pokhara. Nationwide, we also hope to support national policy and training development.
Click to download a detailed Palliative Care Factsheet
- The majority of people in Nepal have no access to palliative care, which is only available in Kathmandu, Bharatpur and Pokhara.
- INF’s Palliative Care programme began in GPH mid-2013, and within INF’s Sanjaal programme from mid-2015.
- INF runs yearly introductory and refresher palliative care training.
- INF is networking with several groups including the World Health Organisation, Nepalese Association of Palliative Care, and Nepal-based non-governmental organisations to facilitate development of palliative care in Nepal.