A new palliative centre in Bangladesh in the offing

Bangladesh, which is among the worst palliative care-providing countries in the world, is going to see private investments for the service that ensures painless death to the terminally ill patients.

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 18 July 2016, 05:31 PM
Updated : 18 July 2016, 06:43 PM

A businessman and former MP ANM Bahaul Huq who runs charity in Narayanganj announced on Monday that he was building a centre at Sonargaon at the suburb of Dhaka.

The centre, ‘Momotamoyi Sonargaon’ or ‘Compassionate Sonargaon’ will aim at spreading the service at the doorsteps of the people in three adjacent districts –Narayanganj, Munshiganj and Comilla.

He said he has constructed a centre for offering the indoor services and that the training for the doctors and nurses would begin from the next month.

Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, File Photo

“But my focus will be on taking the services to the doorsteps. Palliative care is not that kind of service to offer at hospitals. It should be home-based,” he said.

According to doctors, palliative care focuses on symptom management, psycho-social support, and assistance with decision-making that usually offer comfort to the terminally ill patients.

It relives pains and reduces the use of aggressive treatment measures at the end stage of a patient suffering from diseases like cancer and HIV.

The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) first took a limited initiative at the institutional level in Bangladesh in 2007. Later, it spread the service and set up a centre.

Professor of the university’s Centre for Palliative Care Dr Nezamuddin Ahmad, who is also involved with the ‘Compassionate Sonargaon’ project, said the demand was increasing by the day.

He said palliative care involves “a multi-professional team and it is directly related to the communities.”

He particularly mentioned the ‘Kerala model’ of India, which is also called ‘neighbourhood network of palliative care’.

Many countries have integrated this care in their national policies, he said, and involved community people to make the best use of the concept.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) last year in the ‘Quality of Death Index’ study found Bangladesh only ahead of war-torn Iraq when it comes to providing palliative care for its citizens.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher