According to the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM), one in four Malaysians will develop cancer by 75 years old. It is the third leading cause of premature death in the country. Cancer doesn’t just affect the patient, but the entire family.
In 1995, a group of volunteers came together to establish the Perak Palliative Care Society (PPCS), to make palliative care available to cancer patients in Ipoh, at no cost. The society runs on generous public donations, grants from government and sponsorships from private organisations. PPCS also conducts public awareness programmes, and organise fund-raising activities throughout the year.
PPCS is only one of two organisations in Perak that offer free “home care” services. This home care programme, home visits by nurses or trained volunteers, and sometimes a doctor, is focused on pain and symptom control, and advice on nursing care to the patient’s caregiver(s).
Other free services provided by PPCS for cancer patients registered with them include counselling, loan of medical equipment for a small deposit, and also referral to request for welfare aid, either from the State Welfare Department, the National Cancer Council Malaysia (MAKNA) or from the corporate sector.
So who can request for these services from PPCS? Those who fulfil all these three conditions: the patient has cancer, has a caregiver at home, and lives within 20km of the PPCS office. Since its establishment, PPCS has already handled 3020 cases. Currently, some 140 patients are under their supervision.
Perak Palliative Care Centre’s Medical Director Dato’ Dr Ziaudin Ahamed Abdul Kareem said it is the society’s hope that more palliative care centres are established throughout Perak, so that more cancer patients can benefit, especially from the very important home care services. PPCS can provide training and other forms of support to these smaller care centres, to meet the needs of cancer patients who live outside of Ipoh.
On the other hand, those who can spare three or four hours a week, are encouraged to volunteer their time and skills to PPCS. There are many tasks to handle, but not enough manpower. Monetary contribution is greatly appreciated too. All donations are tax-exempt.
Perak Palliative Care Society (Pertubuhan Rawatan Paliatif Perak)
Add: 54, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 31400 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel / Fax: 05-5464732
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