DHARAN, Nepal – Dr. Binay Shah was honored with the B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award Nov. 22. The Indian American physician, who serves as president of the Binaytara Foundation, was honored for his humanitarian work, which includes establishing the first bone marrow transplant center in Nepal, and hospice and palliative care services in Nepal and India.
“I am grateful for the education I received at this institution that has enabled me to give back to the community,” Shah said in his acceptance speech. “I am looking forward to collaborating with BPKIHS, its faculties, and my fellow alumni to help improve the quality of life of cancer patients, in Nepal and worldwide."
BPKIHS, which has graduate schools in medicine, dentistry, nursing and public health, serves over two million people in Nepal and India. Shah and vice chancellor Dr. R.K. Rauniayar discussed the possibility of collaborating on a cancer center at BPKIHS. It would be the first cancer center east of Chitwan and would serve over half of Nepal’s population.
The award ceremony coincided with Shah’s trip to Nepal to host the first Hospice and Palliative Care Summit Nov. 24.
After attending the summit, Janakpur Mayor Lal Kishor Sah expressed interest in collaborating with the Binaytara Foundation to spread awareness about hospice and palliative care services, which are not widely available in Nepal and most low-income countries.
“Hospice is mostly a Western concept,” Shah explained. “People in developing countries do not know what hospice is. Thanks to our summit, many healthcare providers in Janakpur now understand hospice care and can refer patients to these services.” Over 50 physicians also attended the event.
The Binaytara Foundation’s upcoming projects include establishing the first hospice and palliative care training center in Madhya Pradesh, and the 2018 Summit on National and Global Cancer Health Disparities April 28-29 in Seattle, Wash.