Nepal Palliative Care
Work has been completed on the construction of Nepal's first ever Centre of Excellence in palliative care. Providing a place from which to extend compassionate, holistic care to transform lives in rural communities.
Pioneering Palliative Care Centre
It is estimated that at least 125,000 people are currently living in Nepal with terminal illnesses, yet there is very little healthcare available to them. Thanks to The McClay Foundation, in April 2018, EMMS International started planning to build a Centre of Excellence in palliative care at Green Pastures Hospital, Pokhara, Nepal. This Centre is a catalyst for widening access to palliative care in Nepal, particularly Western Nepal, where 80% of the population live, and over half are living in extreme poverty.
Through this project, a palliative care unit has been constructed, including essential equipment, furniture, supplies, essential staff and training. Thanks to the good management of our local partner, INF Nepal, a further annexe has been built to extend the facilities beyond our original vision. This centre will help to care for the economic, social, spiritual and physical needs of patients there.
What is Palliative Care?
Suntali's Life Matters
Suntali was a homeless widow with two small children when she became a patient at Green Pastures Hospital, Nepal. Whilst being treated for leprosy, she was diagnosed with malignant skin cancer. In addition to the excruciating pain, the emotional pain of being homeless and fearing for the safety of her children left Suntali hopeless. She believed that her life did not matter.
Thankfully, hope came to Suntali in the form of the amazing person-centred care. Suntali now has hope for the future. Her children are happy in a nearby Christian Children's home and are receiving an education. Suntali is in remission. Although she still manages significant symptoms, Suntali has now started training to be a tailor in order to provide for her family in the future.
However, there are thousands of people like Suntali currently living in rural Nepal with no such care available to them. It is hard to imagine being so vulnerable and desperate.
Building Palliative Care Services in Rural Nepal
The completion of the Centre of Excellence is a wonderful opportunity to expand rural palliative care in western Nepal. Having quality care at or close to home stops families having to choose between healthcare for their loved ones and education for the next generation. In November 2020, we launched the Every Girl Matters appeal to support the expansion of rural care and help young girl carers return to school and enjoy the benefits of an education. Donations to the appeal will be doubled by the UK government and the project is due to start from April 2022.