The Kerala model in palliative care may be replicated nationwide. A discussion note, prepared by the India office of the World Health Organisation and the health ministry, has identified Kerala as the country’s only state that has a palliative care policy in line with WHO’s public health approach in this area.
The note points out that the slender southern state, with three per cent of the country’s population, houses two-thirds of a total of nearly 500 palliative care centres in India.
Community mobilisation and involvement of the local self-government institutions have led to the success of the state’s palliative care institutions, the note says, hailing the Kerala model.
|* A discussion note has identified Kerala as the country’s only state that has a palliative care policy in line with the WHO’s public health approach in this area
|* Community mobilisation and involvement of the local self-government institutions have been attributed to the success
|* The government will integrate National Programme for Healthcare of the Elderly and National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke with the National Rural Health Mission at the district level
The National Programme for Healthcare of the Elderly (NPHCE) is a key component of the central government’s plans to tackle non-communicable illnesses.
A separate scheme, called NPCDCS (National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke), has also been test-launched along with NPHCE in 100 districts of the country. A pan-India rollout of these programmes is planned during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17).
According to officials, the government will integrate these schemes with the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) at the district level. “Kerala is the only state where palliative treatment is already part of the NRHM,” an official said. It is estimated that 98 per cent of the needy in the country today have no access to palliative care.
Unlike for palliative care, there are no similar models in the case of other non-communicable prevention and treatment programmes focusing on cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, chronic respiratory diseases and mental and behavioural disorders.
According to official data, the 100 districts where these programmes have been launched in the initial phase are in 21 states. While nine districts are covered in Uttar Pradesh, the states of Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam and Orissa have five each.