Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care Training in Sri Lanka
The Lien Collaborative for Palliative Care (Lien Collab) efforts started in Sri Lanka when APHN and the Lien Foundation partnered Sri Lanka’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health’s National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) to launch the 1st Module of the Training of Trainers in Palliative Care Course for medical professionals in Sri Lanka on 24 March 2014.
From 2019 to 2023, the seed planted by the APHN in Sri Lanka is growing as the new College of Palliative Medicine awarded its first fellowship, revised the National Strategic Framework for Palliative Care Development, and published its first guidebook for primary caregivers endorsed by the Ministry of Health.
The project continued to expand and LCPC worked with the local organisations to achieve the following objectives:
Meet the urgent needs for palliative care (especially for cancer patients).
Spearhead the development of palliative care expertise through education, training, and partnerships.
Sustain growth of palliative care availability through trainees and committed volunteers.
The "Train the Master Trainer" programme was completed in 2018. To date, 50 trainees, 29 institutions, 5 cities, and 16 faculty members continue to support this effort.
Sri Lanka Clinical Observership in Singapore (25 to 28 Sep 2019) - 7 selected Clinicians.
Sri Lanka's MOH funded team-based palliative care training in Oct 2019 and invited Dr. Cynthia, Dr. Ghauri and Dr. Sampath to provide guidance and training to 21 institutions (61 participants) in Sri Lanka (21 to 25 Oct 2019).
President Maithripala Sirisena has approved the release of LKR 10 million (USD$ 54,253) from the President’s Fund for the Palliative Care Team of the Teaching Hospital, Karapitiya, to set up a palliative care center (Mar 2020).
The National Strategic Framework for Palliative Care Development in Sri Lanka (2019 to 2023) has also been recently revised.
Meanwhile, we have done about 30 hours of weekly Clinical case discussions in 2022. It was resumed and continued in February 2023.
Paediatric Palliative care Hospice has started functioning from 10th July 2023.
Palliative Services started and expanded at:
Sustained growth from donors and trainees
When the project began, access to morphine was very restricted. Over the course of the project, more outlets began to supply morphine and the prescription period increased from 7 to 30 days’ supply. This supply of morphine is currently from imports.
The Postgraduate College of Medicine now runs a new Graduate Diploma in Palliative Care. Also, the Palliative Care Association of Sri Lanka runs 2-day courses for family physicians.
We were encouraged by an anonymous donor who supported Lien Collab training.
Recently, charitable community palliative care services were started, providing Palliative Care training in nursing colleges and for social workers.
Sri Lanka's MOH developed a national strategy for palliative care, and apportioned these costs in their government budget.