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Indian J Palliat Care ; 26(Suppl 1): S8-S16, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792231


BACKGROUND: Palliative care has an important role to play in the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It is integrated and is a key component in the governmental and community structures and services in Kerala, in India. Palliative care in the state has grown to be a viable model recognized in global palliative care and public health scene. The community network of palliative care, especially the volunteers linking with clinical teams, is a strong force for advocacy, relief support including provision of emergency medications, and clinical care. OBJECTIVE: To develop a palliative care resource tool kit for holistic care of patients affected with COVID-19 and to support the health-care workers looking after them to enable palliative care integration with COVID-I9 management. METHODS: The Kerala State government included senior palliative care advisors in the COVID-19 task force and 22 palliative care professionals formed a virtual task force named Palli COVID Kerala as an immediate response to develop recommendations. Results: Developed a palliative care in COVID-19 resource toolkit which includes an e-book with palliative care recommendations, online training opportunities, short webinars and voice over power point presentations. CONCLUSION: Integrated Palliative care should be an essential part of any response to a humanitarian crisis. The e resource tool kit can be adapted for use in other low- and middle-income countries.

Front Psychiatry ; 12: 731321, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485120


Community mental health systems worldwide have undergone transformation in order to accommodate enormous demands of the pandemic and its mitigation efforts. The pandemic created unprecedented challenges that required Mehac Foundation (further referred as Mehac), a not for profit organization based in Kerala, to reassess our care delivery model. The aim of this report is to present a flexible, need-based biopsychosocial response; a case study effectuated by the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with a focus on minimizing the impact of COVID 19 on vulnerable communities, while adhering to timely regulations issued by the government. The key aspect of our biopsychosocial response was implementation of a phased approach that was rooted in real time need identification. The strategies will be described under broad headings of (i) adaptations for maintaining continuity of care, (ii) identifying vulnerable subgroups and need based psychological response, (iii) exploring social dimensions of the pandemic and implementing strategies to address them, (iv) ensuring team well-being and enhancing skills to effectively respond to the challenges.

Indian J Palliat Care ; 26(Suppl 1): S116-S120, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-706803


In a resource-poor country like India, where the health-care systems are difficult to access, overburdened, and unaffordable to many, the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic can be devastating. The increased burden of serious health-related suffering can impact the well-being of health-care workers, patients, and their families alike. The elderly, the frail, the vulnerable, and those with multiple comorbidities are disproportionately affected. Palliative care, with its comprehensive and inclusive approach, has much to offer in terms of alleviating the suffering, particularly those caused by the distressing physical and psycho-socio-spiritual symptoms, the complex medical decision-making, end-of-life care issues, and grief and bereavement, and needs to be integrated into the pathway of care provision in COVID-19. Psychosocial issues contribute to and amplify suffering and are often underestimated and undertreated and not accessible to many. Empowering frontline professionals in the core concepts of psychosocial support and palliative care thus becomes an absolute necessity. This quick review was done by a group of palliative care physicians and mental health experts from India to develop recommendations for physical and psychosocial care in the context of COVID-19. This review was done as part of that process and highlights the role and challenges of the psychosocial domain of palliative care in the context of COVID-19 situation in India.