Abode of Comfort

By on December 07, 2021
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Abode of Comfort

As one of Goa’s first palliative care centres, Dilasa in Ponda brings to life the vision of improving the quality of life of patients battling life-threatening illnesses

Holistic healthcare can be achieved by managing a patient’s emotional and spiritual well-being alongside medical treatment. This is the aim at Dilasa, a palliative care centre started by the Indian Medical Association’s Ponda Branch, with the provision to accommodate 25 patients.

Palliative care is an approach to improve the quality of life in patients suffering from life-threatening illnesses and their family members, supporting them during illness and death. It assesses and treats physical pain and psychological problems through prevention and relief by identifying underlying factors.    

Dilasa is one of Goa’s first palliative centres. Board members at Dilasa include chairman Dr Narayan Usgaonkar, vice chairman Dr Ajay Pednekar, secretary Dr Shirish Mandurkar, and treasurer Dr Subhash Shikerkar. Viva Goa spoke to Dr Mandurkar to find out more about the centre.

When and how did the idea of Dilasa Home come about?

The Indian Medical Association’s Ponda unit was formed to serve the local community with quality medical services for which the communidade of Bandora leased 5000 square meters land. The home was formally inaugurated on December 22, 2018 as a priority because Goa did not have a palliative centre.

What inspired you to start a centre to provide palliative care for the terminally ill?

Our aim was to improve palliative care because data suggests that 54 lakh patients need it, but only one per cent manage to receive it. We wanted to address this concern as a means of giving back to society in gratitude. Simultaneously, there is a change from the joint to nuclear family system and an increase in the number of people battling terminal illnesses in Goa.    

How many patients has the centre looked after so far?

The centre can accommodate 25 patients at a time. So far, 180 have received care at the centre. Our team has conducted 116 home visits and treated 120 patients who visited the OPD.

What is the routine like for patients at Dilasa?

A regular day at Dilasa comprises diagnosis, general nursing care, and bed alimentation. Pain is handled through acupuncture, massage therapy, physiotherapy, meditation and allied therapeutic modalities. Counselling and reassurance is included to help patients and care givers understand the disease process and garner security to improve quality of life.

Do you allow visitors to spend time with the patients?

Certainly, we allow restricted visitors during designated hours with 

Covid-appropriate behaviour. It is mandatory for close relatives to be around. We allow them to contribute and support the patient during the treatment process to ensure effective recovery. However, due to the pandemic we have restricted the number to one per patient.

What are the various activities conducted for the patients?

We provide counselling, tender care for chronic terminal illnesses, entertainment with light music and television in all wards and rooms, outdoor rounds with wheelchair support, physiotherapy, yoga and prayers. We try to make life seem normal with these regular activities.

How does the centre operate with respect to funds and expenses?

We have various categories of donors for regular funds and expenses. They provide micro and macro level donations. We also receive some funds from the Goa Cancer Society for cancer patients and non-governmental organisations.  

Read the full article in 'Viva Goa' magazine copy.

Viva Goa magazine is now on stands. Available at all major book stalls and supermarkets in Goa.

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