Children’s palliative care gains stronger foothold in Ukraine

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Children’s palliative care is gaining a positive foothold in Belarus, Moldova, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and other former Soviet countries. Healthcare professionals in these countries have realised that it is a vital component of public health services and that seriously ill children have rights.

Children’s Palliative Care in Ukraine
Neither Ukraine’s dire political and economic situation nor the split of the country have affected the positive growth and development of children’s palliative care. An international children’s palliative care forum was held between 17 – 21 December 2015, in Ivano-Frankivsk attended by people from all parts of Ukraine, west and east, those who are already doing something, and those who have not started but really want to do something. Also in attendance were delegates from the Ukrainian Health Service.The forum presented different models of children’s palliative care currently developing in Ukraine, Poland and Belarus. Joan Marston, CEO of ICPCN, spoke about trends in the development of children`s palliative care throughout the world. The conference saw a pleasing spirit of enthusiasm and desire of those present to break the deadlock in the development of children’s palliative care, and to move from talk to action.

As a result an agreement was signed that will serve as a basis for a Ukrainian children’s palliative care network. It is hoped that this document will help to unite all individual initiatives in Ukraine and, with the help of the health sector, will bring about legal recognition in the country and a legal framework for children’s palliative care. This forum will be a turning point and in the near future we will see a document enshrining legal support of children’s palliative care in Ukraine.

Media coverage
The forum was very well reported in the media, with much television coverage, which will help to attract public attention to the subject. The highlight was the performance of the play “Oscar et la Dame Rose” (Oscar and the Pink Lady) by Eric-Emmanuel Shmitt, in Ukrainian. Wonderfully done, the actress and schoolchildren used the performance to bring attention to the problems of seriously ill children and to raise funds. Thanks to this show, which has been performed across Ukraine, a lot of money was raised in aid of children’s palliative care.

We wish our colleagues every success and prosperity in the development of children’s palliative care in Ukraine.

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