Children’s Palliative Care arrives in Mozambique

ICPCN Trainers and 19 Mozambican health professionals celebrate a week of training on children’s palliative care

A partnership between Mozambique Palliative Care Association (MOPCA), African Palliative Care Association (APCA), True Colours Trust (TCT) and ICPCN has resulted in the training in children’s palliative care of 19 Mozambican health professionals. The training took place from 19 – 23 March 2018. Alex Daniels, Education Officer for ICPCN, filed the following report.

The first ICPCN introductory course on Children’s Palliative Care commenced on a hot, sticky Monday morning in Maputo. Eleven nurses and eight paediatricians attended the training that was held in the Unidade da Dor (Pain Unit) on the sprawling grounds of Maputo General Hospital. The training was led by Busi Nkosi and Alex Daniels from ICPCN with guest lecturer support from Dr Angelina Dias (MOPCA) and Professor Joao Schwalbach (Comite Nacional De Bioetica Para A Saude).

A range of topics including communication with children and families, pain assessment and management, ethics, child development and play, grief and bereavement were presented. Much robust discussion ensued via Liliana Donaldo, the young enthusiastic interpreter. The week long training ended on a rainy Friday afternoon with participants keen to apply their newly acquired Children’s Palliative care knowledge and skills. A few participants expressing the wish and determination to make attending the 3rd ICPCN conference to be held in Durban, South Africa in May, a reality.

It was affirming to engage with a group of warm receptive health care professionals who had clearly identified the benefits of adopting a palliative care approach. Despite numerous challenges including access to oral morphine they appear willing to play their part in developing the field. What will need to follow is a commitment from funders, policy makers and other partner organisations to support Children’s Palliative Care further in a country where the need is great.

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