Earlier this year the ICPCN partnered with the Lesotho Ministry of Health to introduce children’s palliative care into the country. Twenty nine health professionals were trained in the basic principles of children’s palliative care and underwent clinical attachment in Bloemfontein, South Africa to experience children’s palliative care first-hand. In June, ten of these professionals were selected and trained to become trainers of children’s palliative care. Following the initial introduction of children’s palliative care in the country, last week the ICPCN in partnership with the Lesotho Ministry of Health conducted a three day workshop to develop children’s palliative care guidelines and a training curriculum for the country.
Nineteen health professionals including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and nutritionists attended the three day workshop which was held in the countries capital city, Maseru. For the first two days of the workshop, attendees worked on developing national guidelines as well as a training curriculum. Attendees were engaged and comprehensive documents were developed which will assist in the establishment and day to day practice of children’s palliative care in the Mountain Kingdom. On the final day of the workshop, Busi Nkosi ICPCN Director of Advocacy, did a presentation on advocacy for children’s palliative care, encouraging the professionals to advocate for resources to sustain palliative care for children. She also facilitated a discussion around the formation of a national palliative care association that will build both adult and children’s palliative in the country.
The workshop closed with participants appointing an interim executive committee of the prospective association to prepare for the official launch of children’s palliative care which will take place on Monday, 9 October. The launch will take place in Maseru, the capital city, and the committee is planning to invite members of the Royal House as well as senior government officials. Plans of rolling out the training course in the country’s three different regions as well as an in-service training plan for the country were also developed. Busi Nkosi, had the following to say about the three day workshop, “I am happy that attendees have finally reached this stage in the journey. The guidelines and curriculum are important tools in implementing quality palliative care and increasing practitioners in the country. We owe it to the children of the nation”.