HOHA India Scoping Mission 2018 – Kerala

Recently I was asked by Hands On Health Australia (hoha.org.au) to travel to India and assist them in a feasibility study of some possible projects in India. The purpose was to determine if we were able to provide further assistance to marginalized groups, what that assistance would look like and how would we be able to make it sustainable.

The first part of our journey started in Kerala where we were met at the airport by the lovely Sister Elsa Thomas. She’s an absolutely remarkable woman, who is a practicing doctor in gynaecology at a nearby hospital, works tirelessly in her spare time to assist the Fatima Palliative Care Centre in her spare time whilst also selflessly donating her entire earnings to support the neighboring Canoissian Daughters of Charity convent. Not often you meet such selfless individuals.

The Fatima Palliative Care Centre (FPCC) located on the coast side area of Thumba was the focus of our project. It’s the only dedicated palliative care unit of its kind in Kerala, a region of over 33 million people. We were here to identify the needs of the patients, facility and the nearby community.

Sister Elsa managed to get us a meeting with the director of Bethany Navajeevan College of Physiotherapy, who also asked us to give a presentation to a “small” group of students.

Sister Elsa on the left

During our time, Sister Rosemary & Sister Elsa managed to get us meetings with several different health coordinators as well as showing us some of the sights & sounds around town. We’re absolutely grateful for the time we spent there & look forward to what we’re able to do to assist the FPCC & the sisters in their mission.