Malawi has only 3000 children receiving palliative care in the country’s major public and Christian Health Association Hospitals (CHAM).
Children Palliative Care Project Coordinator Jean Tauzie told Nyasa Times that the number of children receiving the palliative care services care is at a lower side due to lack of knowledge about the services among many parents.
“We still feel that there is lack of knowledge on the services among parents especially in the rural communities where many children with life threatening illnesses are kept at home,” she said.
She explained that the Palliative Care Association has come up with a number of strategies such as advocacy for the Children Palliative Care (CPC) in order to reach communities who have children with threatening illnesses.
Tauzie added that the Association has also developed a training manual to be used as a resource tool when conducting Children’s Palliative Care trainings called “Children’s Palliative Care Training Manual for Health Care Workers.”.
After realising that there is lack of confidence, knowledge and skills among health workers to competently communicate with children and their families about diagnosis and prognosis, the association in collaboration with the Ministry of Health came up with such training manual book, she said.
She said the target group for health care workers shall be health training colleges, doctors, clinical officers, nurses, pharmacists, occupational therapists, dental and medical assistants, anaesthetics and nutritionists among others.
However Palliative care in the country has been provided without a guiding tool despite progress made in central hospitals to provide CPC.