Cancer patients often feel more comfortable and secure being cared for at home. Many patients want to stay at home to be close to family, friends and familiar surroundings. Home care is often the best option, although it can be daunting for rural and poor families. Since home care involves coordinating visits from doctors, nurses and physical therapists, it can be a hard burden to bear for caretakers.
“Yogilananupatteiya so man upatteeiya”, which translates to 'Those who tend to the sick, tend to me', is the motto by which the Cancer Care Association Sri Lanka (CCASL) operates.
Founded in 2003, CCASL is a registered non-governmental, voluntary organization in Sri Lanka working to serve the underprivileged. It was founded by Dr. Samadhi W. Rajapaksa and consultant clinical oncologist Dr. Upul Ekanayake, with the aim of ensuring the physical and mental wellbeing of cancer patients. The CCASL operates from two branches located in Karaptitya and Anuradhapura, while their main branch is in Colombo.
The team that visits the patient identifies the physical, psychological, spiritual, social and financial problems and aims to provide solutions. This includes prescribing medication, arranging for wheelchairs if required, arranging counseling and even organising religious activities. Patients are registered for palliative care at the oncology clinic and are given a card so that family members can collect the prescribed drugs from the clinic on their behalf.
Some of the notable ongoing projects of CCASL are the CCASL Hospice in Kurundankulama, Anuradhapura with a capacity of 42 beds and the CCASL Hospice in Chettikulam-Vavuniya with an initial capacity of ten beds. In both places, terminally ill cancer patients will be given medical, physical and emotional assistance free of charge. Their other projects include:
- Chemotherapy Drug Fund: Drug donations are made for patients who are unable to bear the costs.
- Breast Prosthetics Project: Aimed at donating breast prosthetics to those who have gone through a partial or complete mastectomy.
- Home Based Palliative Care Project: The CCASL team and doctors visit underprivileged and terminally ill cancer patients at their homes for treatment.
- Cancer Awareness Building: The CCASL team and doctors visit schools and communities in rural areas to conduct awareness about cancer and the importance of early detection to prevent and recover from this fatal disease.
In 2011, the organisation also built a hospice for terminally ill cancer patients at Kurundankulama, attached to the Anuradhapura Cancer Unit. Admission to the hospice is based on a recommendation by the consultant clinical oncologist at the Teaching Hospital Anuradhapura. CCASL caters to many needs of Sri Lankan cancer patients without the means to deal with the disease. The Cancer Care Association is run with donations from organisations and individuals. Here are the details if you wish to donate to this worthy organisation:
Bank Name: Commercial Bank- Battaramulla Branch
Bank Address: 213 Kaduwela Road, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka
Account Name: Cancer Care Association
Account Number: 8290025562/1290025562
SWIFT Code: CCEYLKLX
Cheques in favor of: “The Cancer Care Association”
To find out more about Cancer Care Hospice, go here.
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