Jaffna Hospice

hospice ward

Jaffna Hospice Residential & Home Care Service provided by CANE UK.
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The 22 bed inpatient hospice has been completed. We opened on 28 January 2006. We are providing inpatient care (both terminal & respite) in our Hospice.

From Feb 2004 – Feb 2006 CANE’s original home care team had successfully cared for nearly seventy (mostly terminal) cancer patients in their homes.

This service was terminated with the opening of our Hospice. We found that there was a need for a Home Care service again and a new Service was born in 2016 with funding from IMHO (USA). This is running successfully and over 375 patients have benefitted from this project. (An article in IMHO USA Souvenier 2018 explains how we do this. Click here)

There seems to be a recent reduction in the inpatient numbers but the demand for home care and outreach work has increased a lot. Our Mobile Home Care caters to this increasing need at present in the areas in divisions around the CANE Hospice; namely Nallur Kopay Sandilipay Uduvil Chunnakam and Tellippalai. We a looking for support and funds to expand this service to other areas gradually.

The CANE Hospice Doctor, along with the local Consultant Oncologists and their team, are providing continuous care for the resident patients in the Hospice.


CANE has been planning a hospice service since Sept 2002 and after a few setbacks in finding the land to build on, the Hospice was opened in February 2006.

The Jaffna Hospice Home Care Service which has now been providing terminal care in the patient’s home, following the success of a similar service operational in Calicutt, South India. There is a continuing need for the Mobile Hospice.

CANE has forged links with The Jaffna Cancer hospital, The Jaffna General Hospital as well as the Society for the Prevention of Cancer and Aids, Northern Province to collect information about the cancer patients who are in need of terminal care.

Common problems

Most patients seen have inadequate pain relief and not aware of the options available to them, either over the counter or on prescription. The commonest cancers seen are oral and breast cancer and the nurses care for these patients with providing pain relief as well as relieving the anxiety of family members. The nurses have been especially trained at The Dental clinic at Jaffna Hospital in caring for oral cancer patients, as it is so common. Nutrition was also a problem with many of the patients with oral lesions and the nurses provide nutritional supplements.

Another common problem with several patients out of hospital is leg ulcers and the nurses take care of regular dressings and teach family members how to continue this.

Fortunately currently there are two Cancer Specialist’s (Dr. Rajasooriyar and Dr Indranath) working in the Jaffna Cancer Hospital, Tellipalai. He is able to treat a significant number of patients under difficult circumstances with relatively limited facilities.

The home palliative care service provides nutritional supplements, pain relief and supportive care. They also provide counselling and spiritual support for the cancer sufferers and their carers/family members.

Future plan

1. To identify and prioritise those patients most in need of the care service.

2. To expand our services in Home based palliative care to a wider area and other divisions in the nothern province.

3. We are planning to extend our cancer awareness & education programme to Vanni, Kilinochi, Mullaitivu, Mangulam areas with the help of some expat volunteers and their friends in the Nothern province. We hope to gradually expand this services to all areas. As a voluntary organisation we depend on your help and support.

How can you help us?

1. Would you like help us in our home care team or residential hospice? We are looking for nurses, counsellors, palliative care health professionals and any one else with an interest in Palliative care.

2. All donations go towards covering our costs of running the Residential and Mobile Unit, travelling to the patient’s homes, medical supplies and to cover the travel costs of patients to the Cancer Hospital.


Dr P Thayalasekaran