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Published 15 Mar 2016

This month the focus for prayer is on Palliative Care projects supported by EMMS International.

Malawi

In Malawi the partnership is with the Palliative Care Support Trust (PCST) which includes the work of the Umodzi clinic for children and the Tiyanjane clinic for adults which have been providing palliative care services at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) since 2001. Both clinics operate within QECH under the direction of PCST in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the College of Medicine, Malawi's only medical school.

Cornelius Huwa, Director of PCST, requests prayer for the following issues

Malawi is currently going through difficult times economically. Poverty fuels many ills in the communities. The sick are given less attention as the healthy ones are battling to survive.

  1. Pray for Malawi's economic stability
  2. Pray for good rainfall (Last rainy season saw flooding and loss of lives in Malawi)
  3. Pray for palliative care Support to reach those in dire need 
  4. Pray for encouragement for the families caring for the sick at home for strength, faith and hope
  5. Pray for palliative care team in Malawi to continue to serve with Love and hope
  6. Pray for support of METHOD Project to reach the most needed people at the grass root.

The aim of Malawian education and training for HIV and other diseases (METHOD) is to grow palliative care provision across Malawi through pain relief, end-of-life care and support for the wider family. This is the result of the generous support of the Sunday's Child appeal and match funding from the UK government.

It is hoped that by the end of the project, there will be 40 nurses and clinical officers training for a degree in palliative care, over 500 workers given some training palliative care and 41,385 people cared for at home.

India

In India in 2010 it was estimated that 800,000 people are diagnosed with incurable cancer each year, and a similar number with other incurable diseases but studies suggest that only 2% of people have access to the care they need.

The healthcare system hasn’t the resources and the poorest communities are hit hardest. Providing good quality care at the end of life is essential if people are to be given the chance to die with comfort and dignity.  Emmanuel Hospital Association (EHA) seeks to do this through their palliative care teams and Dr Ann Thyle requests prayer for the following:

  1. Pray for the 8 palliative care teams working in rural areas in 5 north Indian states (UP, MP, Bihar, Maharashtra and Assam) where they are the only service providers for those with life-limiting illnesses.
  2. Pray for the extremely vulnerable and invisible patients and their families, most of them destitute and in debt from medical expenses.
  3. Pray for the team attempts to work with the local Government, local practitioners and village heads; that they will recognize the need for partnerships that benefit their community.
  4. Pray that the teams can effectively disseminate the ethos of palliative care in the communities they serve and empower volunteers who are willing to be trained in simple care. 
  5. Pray for narcotics licenses for 5 of the hospitals for effective pain management.
  6. Pray for safety as the teams provide home care, travelling over unpaved village roads in harsh weather conditions (7 months of the year - extremely high summer temperatures and the monsoon months). 
  7. Pray for opportunities for team members for self-care, rest and restoration.
  8. Pray for sufficient funds to support palliative care services in EHA.