Binaytara hospice

The Binaytara Foundation has set up the first home hospice and palliative care training center in Madhya Pradesh. “We believe that every human has a right to this type of care,” said foundation president Dr. Binay Shah, and Indian American oncologist. (Binaytara Foundation photo)

Bellingham, Wash.-based international cancer health nonprofit Binaytara Foundation Feb. 27 announced it has established the first home hospice and palliative care training center in Madhya Pradesh.

The training center fills an important need in the region, where hospice and palliative care is virtually nonexistent, the organization said.

It will serve as a free training hub for nurses and physicians, who can then expand those services throughout the region, which is home to roughly 73 million people.

“We believe that every human has a right to this type of care,” foundation president Dr. Binay Shah said in a statement. “This training center will allow more and more patients to gain access to hospice and palliative care as physicians and nurses start expanding their own programs throughout the country,” the Indian American oncologist added.

The foundation, which provided monetary support to establish the center, flew out Idaho-based nurses Connie Alexander and Valerie Loftin recently to train a group of nine local nurses over a four-week period, it said.

“We saw great results with those patients when they first started the program while I was there,” Alexander said in the organization news release. “There was a great improvement in pain control. Education was also a large piece. The (nurses) provided education to patients and their families on properly taking medication.”

Now that the center has a core group of master trainers, hospice and palliative care programs can begin to spread throughout the region, the foundation noted.

The master trainers will train 50 nurses within the first month, according to center director Dr. C.M. Tripathi.

This project completes a major milestone for the Binaytara Foundation, which has a goal of spreading hospice and palliative care to all 51 districts of Madhya Pradesh. With the training center established, Shah aims to complete the goal within two years, the organization said.

Along with India, the Binaytara Foundation is also establishing the first home hospice and palliative care services in Nepal. It has established one program in Janakupur and expects more to come.

Over the next few years, the Binaytara Foundation also hopes to establish a state-of-the-art public cancer center in Nepal, it added.

The cancer center will be a multi-million-dollar project. The foundation is currently seeking additional funding to move forward.

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