Kidwai cancer institute to get another dormitory for patients

The Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, which sees about 18,000 new cancer patients every year and another three lakh patients coming for follow-up treatment, has been grappling with the problem of accommodating the patients and their attendants.
The two dharmashalas on the premises are inadequate for the increasing number of patients who throng the hospital for free oncological services from different parts of the country. On Tuesday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will lay the foundation stone for a dharmashala, the second to be built on the premises by Infosys Foundation, at a cost of Rs 60 crore.
Chemotherapy may last weeks, months or years depending on the severity of the case.
For the benefit of patients and their attendants, the municipal corporation funded the first dharmashala, the Sri Venkateshwara Dharmashala, in 1984 which accomodates 400 patients. The Infosys Foundation sponsored the second dharmashala a few years later with the same capacity. Now, a third one will be constructed.
“There are cancer patients from North India who have to stay here for as long as one year for radiotherapy. There are already two dharamshalas, but they are inadequate. The new facility will have a capacity of 300 people. The construction will take nearly a year,” Kidwai authorities said.
On Saturday evening, a music performance for the patients was under way at Sri Venkateshwara Dharmashala. “It is a part of what we call devotional therapy, to take the patient’s mind off cancer and chemotherapy. We have donors coming to perform, distribute fruits, clothes, buckets and other necessities,” said on-duty nurse Dakshayini V.
The dharmashala has three floors with a dormitory hall for male and female patients that costs Rs 100 per week, while single rooms with no bathroom cost Rs 200 and single room with attached bathroom costs Rs 300. The patients and their attendants are served three meals a day.
Venkatalakshmamma (82) has uterine cancer and hails from Chikkabalapur. Her caretaker daughter Gayathri queues up to collect their share of steaming porridge, rice and sambhar. “We have a BPL card so it’s free for us. The facilities are good here. We would have had spent lakhs together in a private hospital.” Her dormmates include patients from Gadag, Shivamogga and other districts.
“The Infosys Dharmashala has a pain relief centre where we administer the patients with morphine. A lot of end-stage patients are given palliative care there. It is flooded with patients from West Bengal there,” said nurse Dakshayini.



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