Wong (sixth left) with members of ‘Run For Love’ organising committee.
MIRI: The Palliative Care Association of Miri (PCAM) is celebrating its 12th anniversary by organising a fundraising charity event themed ‘Run for Love 2017’ on Oct 1.
The event which will take place at Marina Parkcity is organised to raise funds to support PCAM’s annual operation cost.
PCAM started with a small group of compassionate volunteers with medical background. Palliative care services began in Miri in 2005 with patients suffering from cancer. Palliative care simply means to relieve suffering and improve quality of life of people of any age and at any stage in a serious illness, whether that illness is curable, chronic or life-threatening
According to the organiser for the run, Richard Wong, Palliative Care home programme which is the core of PCAM services, is to improve home-based care and support to relieve the suffering of patients who have been discharged from hospitals.
“The palliative care programme started off with 12 patients in 2005 and the number grew to 1015 patients at end of July this year. At present we have 80 ongoing patients in Miri town and another 25 patients staying outside Miri town.
“Currently we have three full time paid nurses doing four to six home visits per day on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Miri town,” he said after chairing a meeting on the run on Thursday.
He added that PCAM also catered to outstation patients in Bekenu, Sibuti and Batu Niah where visits are conducted once a month on a Saturday, with a medical doctor from Miri Hospital.
“PCAM is a non-profit organisation and we rely solely on donations for the continuation of our services,” he pointed out.
Touching on Palliative Care home programme, Wong said since it began in 2005, the programme has been providing care and support to patients living in and around Miri in their home by trained nurses.
“Currently, we have about 80 patients on a regular home visit every week. All services are provided free. We provide medical equipment, oxygen concentrator, hospital bed, ripple mattress, wheelchair and other things for our patients,” he explained.
He said the programme is carried out upon referral from doctors in Miri Hospital, where PCAM’s Registered Palliative Care Nurse Coordinator will make contact with patients within 48 hours.
Wong disclosed that nurses would visit the patient at their home, focusing on adequate pain and symptom control. The regular home visits are to ensure that patients and care-givers are coping with their progressive illnesses.
“Doctors from Miri Hospital Surgical Department will also try to visit patients every Friday morning,” he said.
He added that the programme also provides free loan of medical equipment when they are needed by patients, apart from providing counselling for patients and care-givers when requested.
“PCAM needs about RM300,000 to operate annually. The amount is needed to pay employees’ salary, medical equipment and maintenance, training workshops and seminars for nurses, as well as other miscellaneous expenses,” he explained.
Wong noted that PCAM’s core fundraising event, the Palliative Care Association of Miri ‘Run for Love’ has become an annual charity event.
“We appeal to Mirians and business associates to support our charity work and services.
“The donations in cash and kind will help us sustain our operation. Any sponsorship and assistance in helping us with this charity fundraising event is very much appreciated,” he said.
The event committee will set up a booth at Imperial Mall on Aug 19, 20, 26 and 27 to enable interested members of the public to register for the run.
All donations made to PCAM are tax-exempted and cheques should be made payable to Palliative Care Association of Miri or bank into PCAM’s Maybank account number 5111-8632-6521.
For more information, the public can view PCAM’s website at www.palliativecaremiri.org/ or call their hotline 016-9246480.