Dr Saima Furqan
As most of the government hospitals in Delhi have been converted into Covid designated facilities, non-Covid chronic illness patients - especially cancer patients - were left to live in pain and suffering. Many of them died at home with their suffering left unattended. This made me realize the need to have a Palliative Care Centre in Delhi. With this centre, my aim is to provide comprehensive healthcare as well as supportive care to anyone in need.
To begin with, I along with a team of like-minded people have registered Pal Care Foundation as a non-profit organisation, through which we are rendering our services free to poor patients. Thanks to a few doctors (Dr Parul Prinja, Dr Wajahat and Dr Israr Ansari) who are providing voluntary support for telephone and video consultations for cancer and non-cancer, including those with Covid, patients as well as for an inpatient facility at a 50 bedded hospital in Delhi.
In the space of one month since registering our organisation, we have catered our services to 20 patients directly and around 30 patients indirectly through contacts. These patients are from various parts of the country. We are aiming to provide home based care for bedridden patients as well as those with disabilities.
Apart from supporting healthcare expenses, we are also supporting students in their education. We raised funds to support kids in Kashmir with smartphones to ensure continuity of education with request of some more smart phones to the students of Karnataka and Kashmir.
Suffering is huge as less than 2% of the population has access to pain relief and palliative care, therefore, one has to be the change he/she wishes to see in the world.