In a significant milestone for pediatric cancer care in Syria, BASMA Pediatric Oncology Unit has announced the launch of a new pediatric palliative care program. The initiative represents a crucial step towards providing comprehensive care for children with terminal illnesses in the region.
The program’s initial focus is on staff education and awareness, with Dr. Dima Khalil, a champion of palliative care, leading a lecture series on the subject this month. Dr. Khalil’s dedication will be an invaluable resource for the team at BASMA Pediatric Oncology Unit as they work to provide the best possible care for their patients.
Pediatric palliative care is an essential component of comprehensive cancer care, and this program’s launch is a significant milestone in ensuring that children with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses receive the care and support they need. The team at BASMA Pediatric Oncology Unit is committed to providing the best possible care to their patients and is excited about the potential impact of this program.
Dr. Khalil expressed her enthusiasm for the program, stating, “We are delighted to take the first step in establishing a pediatric palliative care program at the BASMA Pediatric Oncology Unit. Our focus on staff education and awareness is a critical first step in delivering comprehensive care for terminally ill children in our country. I had the privilege of participating in the 2022 St. Jude Global Pediatric Palliative Care Academy, which aided me in launching this initiative at my home institution in Syria, under the guidance of the leaders at BASMA Association, the leading Syrian non-governmental organization supporting children with cancer and their families. Additionally, my successful completion of the virtual EPEC and Pain Master Class provided by the University of California San Francisco was immensely beneficial.”
BASMA Pediatric Oncology Unit was established by the BASMA Association for Supporting Children with Cancer and Their Families in 2009 to provide comprehensive care for Syrian children with cancer. The unit is run by a multidisciplinary team and has enrolled more than 2,500 patients since its establishment. The 2020 expansion of the unit to the capacity of 40 inpatient beds and 12 outpatient chemotherapy chairs allowed the unit to accommodate up to 40% of newly diagnosed Syrian children with cancer every year.
The launch of this program represents a significant development in the field of pediatric palliative care in Syria and is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the team at BASMA Pediatric Oncology Unit.