At 14 of EHA’s hospitals, palliative care teams minister to those with life-threatening illnesses. The goals include improving quality of life and easing pain, as well as providing emotional and spiritual support.
At Broadwell Christian Hospital, they deal with oral cancer in about 50 percent of their cases. They find that these poor patients exhibit a lack of knowledge of the disease, a host of superstitious beliefs, cultural barriers, and a strong belief in faith healers, all of which makes their treatment and cure more complicated. Most of these faith healers give a 100 percent guarantee of a cure, which of course even cancer hospitals would not provide.
On top of the physical difficulties, cancer is viewed as a terrible omen, and people refrain from going near the patient. They are afraid of “cancer germs” in the air and don’t want to catch the disease. Education and cancer screening are key components of EHA’s palliative care teams’ efforts to combat this terrible disease. Watch a five-minute video to get a clear picture of what palliative care work in North India is really all about.