Cancer and HIV related diseases are now the leading cause of death in India. In West Bengal for example, we know that over 240,000 people a year are diagnosed with cancer. By the time they see a doctor, around eighty per cent will be in the late stages of the disease. Around sixty percent will already be in significant pain and just under half will be experiencing excruciating, unbearable pain. We also know that of all the people dying of cancer in West Bengal, only around 10,000 people, that’s less than five percent, receive any medication to help relieve this appalling pain and suffering.
The increasing evidence of need, coupled with the growing interest from health professionals and trusted partnerships with local organisations, led to the formation of Eastern India Palliative Care (EIPC). The overall aim of EIPC is to take a strategic approach to the implementation of palliative care throughout the region. The charity’s aim is to design and develop a replicable and sustainable best practice methodology for implementing palliative care across the region, disseminating the learning in order to achieve the widest possible impact and providing a tangible evidence base in order to lobby and influence government policymakers.
EIPC is registered and regulated in the UK, is chaired by Dr Sankha Mitra, Consultant Oncologist, and managed by Trustees comprising medical professionals, who are experts in palliative care, together with experienced finance, business, international development and not-for-profit executives.