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Iyarkai- A Center for Life and Dignity

MACT, during its field of advocacy and policy level intervention on Tobacco Control and tobacco cessation has identified that large number of Cancer patients are living with pain. The dream to provide a lush green environment with world class amenities and technology to enable the suffering human being to live a life of dignity can become a reality with your generous contributions. Join hands with MACT in ensuring a “Right to Live a Pain Free Life” India has about 1 million new cancer cases each year. About 75% of them are diagnosed in the terminal stage when it is too late to cure or even treat. They are further burdened by limited access to care as treatment facilities are also mostly limited to urban areas of the country. As a result an unestimated number of cancers patients are denied end of life care.

Although 75% of Indians still live in villages 59% of all practitioners and 85% of hospital beds are in urban areas. According to the Medical Council of India the allopathic doctor-population ratio stands at 1:1722, whereas the WHO recommendation is 1:1000. India needs 74,150 community health centers per million but has less than half that number. The doctor patients ratio is even less in rural areas. Every year about 1.6 million Indians endure cancer pain and a vast majority of them die agonizing and undignified deaths. Only a small fraction of these people have access to adequate palliative health services. Despite producing 97% of global morphine (WHO recommended ‘Gold Standard’ in pain management) legally, few cancer patients in India benefit (3%) and majority (97%) continue to die in agonizing pain. While the average morphine consumption in the country should be 900 kgs, the current consumption is only a meager 120kgs.


Unfortunately, palliative care is a non starter in India. Not much was done in ensuring a pain free living for the suffering patients. MACT as an organization works for the rights of the marginalized looks at the ‘right to live a pain free life’ as an inherent component of human life and dignity. Hence with the experience of working in the field and the support of professionals in palliative care, MACT is dreaming of ensuring a world class comprehensive palliative care for people living with pain.

Iyarkai – a Centre for Life and Dignity’ believes that every cancer patient has a ‘Right to live a pain free and dignified life’. Iyarkai offers a 5 acre cottage type facility for every patient along with their care giver to relieve their pain and give them comfort. It is situated in a calm, peaceful and serene natural environment. Iyarkai also has fruit orchards, coconut and vegetable farms and an herbal garden towards sustainable living. Iyarkai was founded by MACT, an organization that has been working extensively for a decade and a half in Tobacco control activities. Having worked in primary prevention of cancer and after working extensively with cancer care centers MACT felt the need for palliative care services.

Activities of Iyarkai are as follows:

• Palliative Care • Preventive Activities
• Promotion of Indian System of Medicine
• Early cancer detection
• Tobacco Control
• Community Interventions
• Research Activities
 • Support group for cancer
• Model Herbal Garden
• Advocacy

Iyarkai has based its activities in a holistic approach for an esteemed life. Iyarkai implements a holistic treatment attempts to deal with the whole person in the physical, emotional, spiritual, and social domains. Iyarkai also aims to promote awareness about palliative care among the public and also provide education and training for health care professionals and volunteers.

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