Lakshadweep Blog, November 2014
Sarah Begley & Sophia Lam
It has been a pleasure visiting our friends of the Lakshadweep Institute of Palliative Care on the Island of Kavaratti a year after our first visit in 2013. Their service has gone from strength to strength and among many successes, have been able to care for 27 patients at the end of life at home and have maintained a continuous supply of morphine over the last year. The service continues to grow and we travelled with the team as they assessed potential patients on a neighbour island of Agatti where they plan to expand the service.
Undoubtedly one of the services biggest successes was that, a year on, the same staff and volunteers remained, a testament to the support and leadership provided by their leader Moulana. Again we were welcomed with open arms into each of the volunteers homes and continued to build strong links and friendships with those in the service. We visited homes of patients together and again lobbied hospital directors of government figures to provide greater support to the service.
From a nursing perspective the nursing education of families had improved significantly with each family we visited with a very good idea of how to care for their loved one at home. One nurse Sister Crezentia had received an award for nursing excellence and it was an honour to be present to witness her receiving this award.
Dr Sophia and I conducted formal and informal sessions about reflective practise, communication, teamwork and self care. During an informal reflective practice session I listened with great joy as a newly graduated nurse from the island, now being trained in palliative care, spoke about his experience in caring for a woman at the end of life. He told of how he had been touched by the suffering of this patient and how satisfying he found caring for her and allowing her to die with dignity.
We look forward to visit again in 2015 and are very proud to share the palliative care journey with the men and women of the Lakshadweep Institute of Palliative Care.