Paediatric Palliative Care in resource-poor countries

Children, an international open access journal of paediatrics published monthly online by MDPI has recently published a paper focusing on the great need for paediatric palliative care in resource poor countries. The paper was written by Julia Downing, Sue Boucher, Busi Nkosi and Alex Daniels.

The authors write that “there is a great need for paediatric palliative care (PPC) services globally, but access to services is lacking in many parts of the world, particularly in resource-poor settings. Globally it is estimated that 21.6 million children need access to palliative care, with 8.2 needing specialist services.”

The paper looks at the challenges that have been identified to the development of palliative care for children globally including acess to treatment, access to medications, lack of trained health and social care professionals and a lack of awareness and policies to support its development.

Suggested strategies to overcome these challenges include using advocacy and raising public awareness, provision of education, improved access to medications and promotion of the implementation of services and research.

The paper also looks at examples where paediatric palliative care has been provided in resource-poor settings highlighting the key element of an effective programme as being:

  • Clear and strong leadership
  • Focused on the vision
  • Linked to what makes the programme unique
  • Different components of care
  • Holistic approach to care
  • Clear strategy
  • In touch with changes in the environment
  • Adaptable (but not losing focus)
  • Consistency in approach
  • Acceptance by the community and collaboration
  • Access to a variety of education programmes

To read the full text or to download the paper, go to: http://www.mdpi.com/2227-9067/5/2/27

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