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Hospice Sri Lanka Alliance makes a milestone in palliative care – Health Secy.

14 May 2024 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

By Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana   

Forming an alliance in the hospice treatment sector in the  country will make a milestone in the palliative care and will help to  standardize an industry, which had rendered a significant service to the  public, said Secretary of Health Dr. Palitha Mahipala.   

Dr. Mahipala made these remarks addressing the inaugural  ceremony to launch Hospice Sri Lanka Alliance, which was organised by  the College of Palliative Medicine of Sri Lanka (CPMSL) at the BMICH  over the weekend.   
Hospice treatment is a programme to ensure the quality of  life of a patient of a chronic disease like cancer who is nearing his  end and to treat the person’s symptoms rather than the disease itself.  Palliative is a form of medical care that relieves symptoms without  dealing with the cause of the condition.   

Although hospices have been functioning in the country for  over a decade, the absence of amalgamation and inter-hospice  coordination has posed challenges in training, service enhancement and  benchmarking. To address these gaps, the Hospice Sri Lanka Alliance was  formed to assume the role of a catalyst and to elevate the hospice  sector to international standards.   

Dr. Mahipala said the CPMSL has emerged as a beacon of hope  for enhancing the quality of life for palliative patients across Sri  Lanka and plays a pivotal role in the advancement of palliative care.     

Prof. Samadhi Rajapaksa has been appointed as the Chairman  of the Hospice Sri Lanka Alliance, which has been formed with leading industry representatives like Shantha Sevana in Maharagama, CANE  in Jaffna, Cancer Care Anuradhapura, Sri Sathya Sai Suva Sevana in  Hanwella, Institute of Palliative Medicine in Matara, Eastern Cancer  Care in Eravur and Sahana Sevana in Maharagama.   

The event also witnessed the launch of the ‘Touch of Tender  Loving Care,’ a series of handbooks authored by experts in respective  fields aimed at providing essential guidance to caregivers in both  community and hospice settings. The series is a publication of the  CPMSL.   

The series Touch of Tender Loving care consists of  guidebooks on ‘Basic Palliative Care Aspects at community Setting’ by  Dr. Ishanka Talagala, ‘Pain Management in Palliative Care Patients in  the Community’ by Dr. Prasadini Karunarathne, ‘Nutrition guide for  patients receiving palliative and hospice care in a home setting’ by Dr.  Renuka Jayathissa, ‘Prevention of Communicable diseases in palliative  patients at home setting’ by Dr. Ishara Premathilake, Caretaker guide on  managing bed sores by Dr. Thusitha Kahaduwa and Caring for Caregivers  by Dr. Manudi Vidhanapathirana.   

The inaugural ceremony was graced by distinguished health  officials including the Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela  Gunawardena.