The Palliative Care Support Trust (PCST) in Malawi has supported activities in 13 districts in the southern region of Malawi to orientate ‘health surveillance workers’ in the identification and basic management of children with palliative care needs. The training was supported by the ICCO Cooperation.
ICCO Cooperation under the ‘Child at Risk Fund’ has been supporting the efforts of Umodzi Children Palliative Care at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Malawi for one year now. The support has enabled PCST to provide the support to families that have children with such needs.
The orientation is one of the major activities that the project has been addressing. This was done to strengthen the continuum of care for the children with palliative care needs who are discharged to their homes from Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.
10 HSAs from each of the 13 districts have been oriented to the idea of children palliative care.
Umodzi children`s palliative care enrolls about 30 to 40 children on a monthly basis. Being the only registered centre for children palliative care, Umodzi receives children from all parts of Malawi though the majority come from the southern region of Malawi.
Continuum of care is the major challenge when the children are discharged from Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital. Among other contributing factors to this is the lack of knowledge on health care workers about palliative care and lack of technical skills among health care providers and community volunteers.
This training will enable follow-up programs for the children to be well coordinated. The HSAs work directly with community volunteers who form a back bone in supporting families in need.
Dr. Cornelius Huwa, Medical Director for PCST said “Children are a special group with special needs. This training is expected to improve home based care in children with palliative care needs in the southern region of Malawi”.
He also thanked ICCO Cooperation for the financial support that has been provided to aid such training to take place.