KEHPCA held the first training on Paediatric Palliative Care in Kenya from 29 August to 2 September 2011.

In partnership with ICPCN, HPCA and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, KEHPCA trained 40 paediatric clinicians from across Kenya on a five day Introduction to Paediatric Palliative care course in Nairobi.

KEHPCA National Coordinator Dr Zipporah Ali commented
Our children matter too, we must be knowledgeable and skilled to support them and improve their quality of life when faced with a life threatening illness.”

The course covered delivery of paediatric palliative care by multidisciplinary professional teams, including doctors, nurses, social workers, psycologists, counsellors and pastoral workers; and aimed to be as practical as possible whilst at the same time ensuring adequate transfer of knowledge.

All course participants received a copy of the Oxford Textbook for Children’s Palliative Care in Africa. This can be downloaded for free at the ICPCN website.

Children’s palliative care aims to improve the quality of life for children when a curative treatment is no longer an option. It uses a holistic approach to manage pain, other physical symptoms, and the psycological, social and spiritual burdens faced by dying children and their families. There are many reasons why children’s palliative care has such an important role in Africa and the importance of children’s palliative care in the developing world has been highlighted by the World Health Organisation.

This course marked the start of KEHPCA’s focussed work on Paediatric palliative care. KEHPCA hopes to expand this significantly over the year ahead; with the aim of improving the quality of life of Kenyan children with life limiting illnesses through improving knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours of health professionals working within the Kenyan context.