Joan Marston reports on the ICPCN training of healthcare workers in Lesotho and a series of visits these trainees have made across the border to Sunflower Children’s Hospice in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Discussions include the various diagnoses that the children have, medicines that are prescribed for the children, the difficulties many have with feeding and maintaining good nutrition, the importance of ensuring each child feels loved and cared for and the need for safe care when the families are unable to take the child back into the home.
The programme is quite intense and so far two groups of nurses, doctors and medical technologists have been to Bloemfontein for their placements, with another two groups to be placed in June.
Students have expressed a wish to have a similar children’s hospice programme in Lesotho but realize that this could be challenging in such a poor country, with one of the highest incidences in the world of HIV. With LeBoHA, an NGO working with ICPCN in Lesotho, and the support of the Ministry of Health they plan to roll-out training across the Mountain Kingdom with support from ICPCN and mentorship from new-found friends and colleagues at Sunflower Children’s Hospice.