My name is Foebe, I am a girl, I am 3-years old. My dad is a barber and my mum a teacher. I attend day care in my mother’s school. I have one brother, Junior. He is in class two. I have many friends, like ten of them, both at home and in the day care. I have many toys, my favorite is fiki kiki doll it has a long black hair, a smiley face and beautiful eyes. I have always been happy, but…
For two weeks now, I have not been attending day care, I have not been at home either; I am in this place that I exactly don’t know. Well it looks nice with colored walls, dolls and toys but all the time I have to be in bed with four other children each of us has their own bed.
I can’t remember exactly how I came here but I remember the sharp pain in my head, sharp like my teacher’s scissors, then I fell down and when I woke up I was here.
The teachers here wear white clothes, they are nice to me, they talk to me nicely but sometimes they don’t smile much, they come with really sharp objects but I don’t know what they use them for.
There are many lingering questions in a child’s mind when they are admitted in hospital. They probably have little knowledge or none at all on why they are in hospital. Why am I here? Why is daddy and mummy looking sad? Who are these strangers?
Paediatric palliative care is as important as adult palliative care probably far much important because the children cannot probably comprehend why they are sick or in pain. The questions they have are too many with only limited answers.
It is important to help the child understand what they are suffering from in the simplest language possible. Paediatric palliative care benefits children with better care and structured pain management, play and development, psychosocial counseling and care at the end of life.
According to Dr. Patrick Mbuguru, a paediatrician in Garissa Provincial General Hospital, the integrated model of pediatric care is achievable even in low resource settings with inadequate infrastructure and human resource.
“We innovatively integrated the paediatric palliative care program into the existing paediatric HIV care services due to lack of adequate infrastructure, shortage of staff and the realization that children with HIV and other terminal illness require similar care.” Dr. Mbuguru said He said that Pediatric palliative care can comfortably be provided alongside other pediatric specialties in a primary care setting.
The factors hindering pediatric Palliative Care are poor referral networks and linkages, inadequate knowledge among Health Providers and Care givers, lack of family readiness to acknowledge incurable conditions and family preference to life sustaining treatment Dr. Mbuguru noted that these programs can be developed widely in low resource settings to provide intensive symptom management and promote welfare of children living with life threatening or terminal conditions. He identified volunteers as a significance resource towards realizing success in provision of Paediatric Palliative Caere.
Other Special Groups that need palliative care include:
• Mentally incapacitated patients