The Ten-Year Singapore-Indonesia Collaboration in Palliative Care Further Expands to West Java

The new collaboration will see the re-engagement of five master trainers from earlier projects in Jakarta contributing as mentors in Bandung – a testimony to its sustainability.

Singaporeans and Indonesians reaffirm their solidarity in addressing the needs of palliative care in West Java. Guest-of-honour Ibu Atalia Praratya Ridwan Kamil, Chairman, Family Welfare Development Team (top row, centre) graces the launch event of the Enabling Palliative Care Trainers project that seeks to benefit 80,000 lives in the province.

“Compared to other areas in Indonesia, palliative care is still nascent in our province of West Java. I thank the Singapore International Foundation for coming down to Bandung, Indonesia for this collaboration. What you intend to share with us through this programme clearly meets our healthcare needs,” said guest-of-honour Ibu Atalia Praratya Ridwan Kamil, Chairman of the Family Welfare Development Team. She was speaking at the launch ceremony of the Enabling Palliative Care Trainers (EnPaCT) project on 28 January 2019. The three-year project aims to enhance the quality of life of patients faced with life-threatening illnesses specifically in the West Java province which comprises over 46 million residents.

Following the success of two earlier projects in Jakarta, the launch marks the SIF’s third collaboration in palliative care with Indonesia. Now in Bandung, the SIF is partnering with the Indonesian Cancer Foundation (YKI), its West Java chapter (YKI West Java) and Dr Hasan Sadikin General Hospital Bandung (RSHS), to work together in a training-of-trainers programme over the next three years. What would be unique in EnPaCT is the re-engagement of five master trainers from Jakarta who would volunteer their time as mentors, sharing their enhanced knowledge and skills to the new trainees in Bandung.

Representatives from Singapore and Indonesia co-signed an agreement at the launch ceremony of EnPaCT, sealing their collaboration on the healthcare project for the next three years. From left: Assoc Prof Peter Pang, Governor, SIF; Prof Dr dr Aru Wisaksono Sudoyo, Chairman, YKI; Dr R Nina Susana Dewi, President Director, RSHS; Dr Diah Poerwanti, Head, YKI West Java and Organising Committee; and Ibu Atalia Praratya Ridwan Kamil, Chairman, Family Welfare Development Team.

One of the Indonesian mentors includes Dr Venita Eng, a medical doctor from YKI who was previously trained by our team of Singapore International Volunteers (SIV) in Jakarta from 2015 to 2018. She said, “I feel very humbled and grateful to be selected as a mentor for this Bandung project. I gained a lot during my own training conducted by Dr Ramaswamy Akhileswaran (Akhiles) who not only enriched us in clinical skills but also taught us about the ‘heart’ of palliative care. I am now ready to pass on what I know to others and hope that this project model would expand to other provinces in Indonesia as well.”

Dr Akhiles, who had volunteered in the SIF’s palliative care projects in Indonesia since 2009, shared, “The heart-warming friendship with our Indonesian counterparts is evident through the local mentors’ involvement in the EnPaCT project. This is a positive outcome from our past collaborations. I am certain that their contribution will enhance palliative care for patients and caregivers in Bandung.”

The EnPaCT project will train at least 350 palliative care practitioners in West Java, in which 20 will be identified as master trainers to train others independently. With earlier projects in Jakarta that trained a total of 62 practitioners, EnpaCT will continue to build up the professional capacity of the wider healthcare community, and collectively benefit at least 100,000 lives in Indonesia.

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