Aims to expand access to home based palliative care for children and adolescents with serious illnesses

Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children in association with Cipla Foundation announced the inauguration of the city’s first-ever pediatric palliative home care service, ‘Titli’ recently. Offering an additional layer of support to the children living with serious illnesses, this multifaceted service will provide a doctor, nurse and a counsellor for home care as well as teleconsultation to families living in Mumbai suburban district covering Colaba to Dahisar and Thane to Trombay.

The ‘Titli’ team based at B J Wadia children’s hospital will work closely with the treating physician of the child for pain and symptom management and to effectively communicate with the family and facilitate their communication and coordination with the larger medical teams at the hospital. Most importantly, the service is aimed at alleviating suffering and the improving the overall quality of life for the children and their families.

After launching the palliative and support care unit in 2019 and supporting around 1400 children and families over 3 years, Wadia Hospital in association with Cipla Foundation has taken a huge step by offering “Titli-palliative care services at home” to provide curative, restorative, and life-prolonging treatment to seriously ill children.

Palliative care is important for children more than ever. It recognizes the challenges faced by the child with serious illnesses that are not confined to the disease alone. It acknowledges that there is pain and other symptoms related to the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of the patients and their families. Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of illness and can be provided with disease-directed treatments. Keeping the needs of these vulnerable children in mind, Wadia Hospital has come forward to help them get that much-needed relief from the pain, and aid in quick recovery in the comfort of their own homes.

Speaking at the launch, Rumana Hamied, Managing Trustee, Cipla Foundation & Cipla Palliative Care & Training Centre said, “In 2019, Cipla Foundation & BJ Wadia hospital launched the first pediatric palliative care OPD in Mumbai. Today three years later, this initiative completes the continuum of care. Children with serious illnesses can now receive the same quality of care in their own homes, while in company of their siblings, parents, grandparents. We sincerely hope that this service provides them the holistic care they need in the comfort of their homes.”

Rima’s 11-year-old son has chronic kidney disease, sharing her thoughts, she says, “It is so reassuring for me to have the doctor and counselor visit me at my home, explain thoroughly about the correct way I should give medicines to my son. I was not sure how to talk to my younger daughter about her brother’s condition and the palliative care team gave me so many practical tips to help ease my conversation. After their visit, he is eating and sleeping better and I feel more confident, knowing that I am not alone”

Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO of Bai Jerbai Wadia hospital for Children, commented, “Palliative care should be available immediately after the diagnosis and include all serious illnesses such as diabetes, HIV, thalassemia, muscular dystrophy, and cancer. Our aim is to provide the best quality of life at every stage of all serious illnesses. The care is family centered. Caregivers are equally cared for. Through close communication with a palliative care team, families are able to choose better options that are in line with their values, traditions, and culture. This will also help to improve the well-being of the entire family, as it supports children and families throughout their illness trajectory, it also includes end-of-life care and bereavement support. This home supportive care service will be a boon for children as it will take care of their each and every need.”

“We are thankful to the Cipla Foundation to support these much-needed services; we have seen the immense benefit to children and families due to the efforts of the hospital based palliative care team over the past three years. The home care service will strengthen our commitment to quality care for our patients”

More information on the Titli, home care service is available by calling the Saath Saath helpline (1800-202-7777), the national palliative care helpline that links callers to their nearest palliative care centre .