S'pore team to train Sri Lanka doctors and nurses in palliative care

A Singapore medical team will train doctors and nurses in Sri Lanka in a branch of medical care that aims to improve the quality of life for patients with life-threatening illnesses by preventing or minimising their suffering.

About 50 people in Sri Lanka will attend the first palliative care training stint from Monday to Friday this week. Five more stints will be held over the next two to three years, under the programme launched on Monday by Singapore philanthropic group Lien Foundation and the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network (APHN) in partnership with the National Cancer Institute, Maharagama and National Cancer Control Programme of Sri Lanka.

Among the trainees in Sri Lanka are nurses as well as a psychologist and social worker. They also include 17 cancer specialists - or more than half of the 31 specialists in Sri Lanka. The team of trainers, headed by APHN chairman Cynthia Goh, comprises five other doctors and nurses from Singapore and Australia.

Sri Lanka is the third of four countries to be part of a $1.8 million initiative by the Lien Foundation and APHN to build expertise in palliative care in four Asian countries. The four-year initiative started last year, with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

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