To enhance the capabilities of doctors of the Punjab in palliative care for cancer,
officially nominated ones from 34 districts of Punjab were trained in a two day
workshop conducted by the collaborative efforts of Govt. of Punjab, Cancer Care
Hospital and Research Center and University of Health Sciences on 4
The driving force behind realization of such philanthropic motivations was Dr.
Pamela Sutton MD and Professor Dr. Shaharyar (Dean and HOD oncology
department KEMU), along with strong desire of health department of Punjab to
enhance current standards of health care. Key contributors in training were world
renowned Dr. Pamela M Sutton (Palliative care specialist from U.S and Ex-
Consultant WHO), Joan Rosencrans (Palliative care specialist Nurse from Florida,
U.S) and Prof. Dr. Shaharyar, the most experienced oncologist in Pakistan.
Amongst other speakers were Dr. Riaz-Ur-Rehman, palliative care consultant at
Jinnah Hospital, Mr. Muhammad Faisal Nadeem and Dr. Nazish Faisal, coordinator
and senior advocacy manager of Cancer Care Hospital and Research Center.
Although 90 % of the patients diagnosed at stage 1 and stage 2 can be cured in
but cancers revealed at stage 3 and stage 4 has drastically low cure rates
necessitating the palliative care in such patients. Due to deficiency of resources
and limitations of diagnostic technologies, cancer is mostly diagnosed in stage 3
and 4 where majority of patient is deprived and denied from most of the
therapies available either due to cost or advanced stages. Palliative care can
increase the quality of life and quantity in advanced stage cancer patients. The
workshop provided insights into important aspects of palliative care and
demonstrated the importance of the field which is often overlooked in our society
either due to social dilemmas or lack of proper training and facilities for the
health care professionals.
Speakers focused in depth on different aspects of pain, socioeconomic factors,
spiritual and psychological needs, denial, depression, anxiety, terminal life care,
strategies of pain management, status and role of morphine, bedside rounds and
organizational considerations for the delivery of optimal palliative care.
Palliative care and hospice care facilities at present are not prevalent in Pakistan
at organizational level and Cancer Research and Treatment Foundation CRTF has
planned to establish a Cancer Care Hospital and Research Center based first ever
140 bedded palliative care unit as pioneer organization in the field. Current
workshop was a step towards achievement of one of the goals of the hospital in
line with its training goals aimed towards health care professionals in palliative
care. The hospital will be primarily for people of Punjab and has plans to add beds
making it a 400 beds hospital in future. This will increase facilities of cancer
treatment of the Punjab by almost hundred percent doubling the available
resources. The credo of hospital is “no one will be denied of treatment due to
non-affordability or type or stage of cancer”.
Closing ceremony was Chaired By Secretary of Health Government of Punjab Mr.
Babar Hayat Tarar and was co- chaired by Vice Chancellor Maj.Gen.(R) Professor
M. Aslam and President Cancer Care hospital & Research center Prof. Dr.
Shaharyar. Certificates were awarded by the Secretary of Health to the