Binaytara Foundation hosts hospice and palliative care summit in Nepal

JANAKPUR, Nepal: The Binaytara Foundation, an international cancer health nonprofit, hosted its first Hospice and Palliative Care Summit on November 24 in Janakpur, Nepal, to educate local health care providers about the importance of those services.

More than 50 physicians attended the free summit, which provided information on general concepts, key principles and patient populations who may benefit from this type of care.

Hospice and palliative care provides pain relief to terminally ill or severely ill patients. It is virtually nonexistent in low-income countries like Nepal.

Because cancer care and treatment for other life-threatening ailments is inaccessible to most of the population there, many patients are already terminal by the time they are diagnosed. This has worsened over the last decade, with non-communicable diseases becoming the leading cause of mortality in low-income countries, said Binaytara Foundation President Dr. Binay Shah.

“These services should be an integral part of care provided to these patients,” Shah said. “These services relieve suffering of patients during their last few months or years of their lives.”

Shah was joined by hospice provider Dr. Ajay Mishra, and Chief of Surgery at Tribhuvan University Institute of Medicine. Dr. Yogendra Singh, in giving lectures at the summit.

Hospice and palliative care is a relatively new concept in Nepal, as the Binaytara Foundation helped establish the first home hospice and palliative program this year in Janakpur. The program is led by Dr. Ajay Mishra, a local physician.

Janakpur Mayor Lal Kishor Sah was the featured guest at the summit, thanking the Binaytara Foundation for providing hospice and palliative care services to the people of Janakpur. He also pledged more support from local government.

“The city of Janakpur will provide resources to expand the hospice and palliative care program in Janakpur,” Sah said.