Dr Hamied (second left) with Víctor Navas (centre) and representatives from Cudeca. / SUR

Cudeca opens new Yusuf Hamied Research and Education Centre

The pioneering palliative care facility represents a signifant landmark in the history of Cudeca Foundation, and the official opening was also accompanied by a surprise announcement by the Indian scientist and billionaire businessman who helped fund it

Tony Bryant
TONY BRYANT

Almost four years the foundation stone was laid the, Cudeca Foundation launched its latest pioneering initiative on Wednesday, 20 April, when it officially opened its new Yusuf Hamied Research and Education Centre.

The centre, which cost two-million euros, will be used to train professionals of all levels for the improvement in the quality of palliative care, while also developing innovative models of intervention and research.

The construction of the new facility, which is located next to the hospice in Benalmádena, was made possible by a generous donation from Indian scientist and billionaire businessman, Dr Yusuf Hamied, who is renowned for his pioneering work with AIDS patients.

The construction of the centre represents a significant landmark in the history of Cudeca, since it represents recognition of more than 25 years of experience in the treatment and care of people with advanced diseases.

In addition to Dr Yusuf Hamied, the opening ceremony was attended by the head of the Cudeca Institute, Ángel Bataller; president of the Cudeca Foundation Board of Trustees, Ricardo Urdiales, and medical director, Marisa Martín. Also in attendance were the rector of the University of Malaga, José Ángel Narváez; the manager of the Andalusian Health Service, Miguel Ángel Guzmán; the president of the Spanish Society of Palliative Care, Juan Pablo Leiva; and the Mayor of Benalmádena, Víctor Navas, who said, “Benalmádena is once again at the forefront of palliative care with this new centre, in which Cudeca will contribute its valuable experience to improve the quality of palliative care.”

Dr Hamied, who opened the first palliative care unit in India in 1997, was keen to point out that modern technology and research into new medicines has come a long way.

“It is the first centre of its kind, dedicated to training and research in palliative care, not only in Spain, but probably throughout Europe, which is why Benalmádena and Andalucía should be proud of the prestige it will bring. The intention is to educate and train professionals not only from Spain, but from all over the world,” Dr Hamied said.

Surprise announcement

Dr. Hamied, who has also made an annual donation of 100,000 euros since 2010, surprised Cudeca officials during the opening by announcing that he and his wife, Farida, would also donate the remainder of the money needed to build the Paediatric Palliative Care Unit, which will be installed in the house of the charity’s founder, Joan Hunt.

“His extraordinary generosity and commitment to Cudeca, which is none other than his own commitment to human suffering at the end of life, has been constant and it culminates today with this wonderful transformational gift,” Marisa Martín declared.