Cipla Palliative Care, CanSupport, Pallium India and 8 other palliative care organizations announced the launch of the ‘Saath-Saath’ helpline on Friday in order to unify their actions to provide palliative care in the country.
“The helpline is a national free-of-cost service where patients, caregivers and healthcare providers can be connected to the nearest palliative care center when required,” said a press statement.
The toll-free helpline 1800-202-7777 will be operational from Monday to Saturday between 10 am to 6 pm, it said.
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The helpline number offers direct service provision in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad and Guwahati, it said.
According to the statement, the callers seeking assistance can get connected to palliative services in their preferred languages including Assamese, Hindi, English, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and Marathi.
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According to reports, the total number of people in India who need palliative care is likely to be 5.4 million a year1.
This service is aimed at ensuring that no person with a serious illness feels alone, and has access to options such as pain relief, physiotherapy, diet advice and family counselling to assist them and their caregivers with the help of qualified healthcare professionals and trained volunteers.
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Speaking about the need for the helpline, Dr Rajagopal, chairman, Pallium India said: “It would be easy to turn our backs to the sea of suffering out there and walk away. But we choose not to. We choose to face it and do what we can. Together.”
Commenting at the launch, Rumana Hamied, managing trustee, Cipla Foundation & Cipla Palliative Care & Training Centre, said, “At Cipla Foundation, we are guided by our ethos of ‘Caring for Life’.”
“The Saath-Saath helpline is a collaborative effort that offers an opportunity to people living with serious illnesses to find the right connects to get care that is responsive to their needs, at any point in their ailment journey,” Hamied added.
Sharing her thoughts, Harmala Gupta, founder – President, CanSupport, said: “Saath-Saath is really a dream come true for us. The idea of this helpline is to enable people have a way in which they can express their feelings rather than hide them and have access to the information they need.”
“The helpline will support patients with options like pain relief, physiotherapy, diet advice and family counselling that I am confident will serve the purpose and much more,” Gupta said.
Saath-Saath is a helpline for people and their families who need palliative care.
This initiative is a joint effort between 11 leading palliative care organizations in India – Cipla Palliative Care & Training Centre, Pune; CanSupport, Delhi; Romila Palliative care, Mumbai; Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai; PalCare, Mumbai; Sukoon Nilaya, Mumbai and Karunashraya, Bengaluru.
Dr Bhubaneswar Barooah Cancer Institute, Guwahati; Pallium India, Thiruvananthapuram; Pain Relief and Palliative Care Society, Hyderabad and Indian Association of Palliative Care are also associated with this initiative.