Odette Spruijt has visited Patna, the capital of the state of Bihar in India, five times since 2010. This time, it was to conduct an education program to further sensitize health professionals to palliative care needs and practice. An opioid workshop to help implement the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 2014 (NDPS Act) in the state was also on the agenda.
The events were scheduled over three days at four major hospitals in Patna.
This visit was the continuation of a long-established relationship with two of these institutions: the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna campus.
Aside from any teaching provided to local clinicians, Odette was able to reflect on a few things she herself learnt as a volunteer mentor:
- Be prepared for the unexpected. Adjust your program to fit local issues and suit the needs of the audience.
- Treat hosts with utmost respect and courtesy. Visits involve much work, of which we may be unaware. Guests are held in high regard in India and we need to be gracious guests in return.
- Case-based teaching is often the most appreciated format. Despite the lack of knowledge of palliative care, many doctors who attend the talks have vast experience in their field of practice; we need to draw on their expertise when teaching palliative care.
Please open the attachment below to read Odette’s full report: