Latvian Children`s Palliative Care Society raises discussions on the further development of palliative care services for children

Categories: Care, Community Engagement, Education, Featured, and People & Places.

On the 12th of October Children’s Palliative Care Society of Latvia organized the 2nd conference “Bridges that connect” to educate and rise an awareness of the public about the importance of palliative care. Specialists, parents, public administration and municipal representatives were involved in the discussion on the organization of palliative care and how to improve it. One of the topics of the discussions was necessity to set up a care and support centers-hospices for families raising terminally ill children.

Dr. Anda Jansone, Chairman of the board of Children’s Palliative Care Society (Latvia), highlights the idea of the conference: “The family as an eco-system is the foundation of the society. Integrity is a key principle in palliative care. Families with children with special needs do not want to feel different and unaccepted in society, weather they are walking down the street, visiting a doctor, specialists, pre-school institution, school, events, playgrounds. That is why we all need to be informed and involved – every member of society, specialists working in health care and welfare system, service providers, policy makers.”


Dr.Julie Ling, CEO of European Association for Palliative Care, opened the conference emphasizing importance of accessible, evidence based and integrated palliative care. “Palliative care is human right which has to be realized as part of life course, public health and universal health coverage,” said Julie Ling “and crucial elements of it are state policy, education, use of medicines, service provision and professional activity. All member states of WHO are urged to strengthen palliative care.” 


Prof.Julia Downing, Chief Executive of ICPCN, shared information and knowledge on challenges in development of children’s palliative care around the world and models of service provision, global activities in the field and also shared recommendations for the ongoing development of children’s palliative care in Latvia.

The results of the survey carried out in 2021 were presented by Children’s Palliative Care Society representative Dace Klusa. 147 families receiving children’s palliative care participated in the survey aimed at finding out their views and needs in scope of services and support. This is crucial information for further decision making on service development.

The guest lecturer Dr.Peteris Klava, children reanimatologist, shared his thoughts how palliative care can let us understand the life and human being in general and Arturs Kirps, visceral therapist, spoke about the role of nature in palliative care.

Some of the issues raised during public discussion were lack of regulation and long-term strategy in palliative care, lack of clear and strong leadership and effective cooperation among sectors involved, lack of coordination of services and unavailability of information and necessity to develop specialized care and support centers.

The ideas, conclusions and proposals heard and discussed during the conference will be taken into account as work continues to improve palliative care services for children in Latvia. 

Discussion on the establishment of multifunctional care and support center-hospice for families raising terminally ill children remains on the agenda of the responsible ministries to agree on the best solution for realization of this project.

At the end siblings of special children shared their views how to look at and accept a sick brother/sister and life in general. It is worth listening to what the children say.

Other news of Children`s Palliative Care Society of Latvia

For Society this year was rich with projects and new beginnings. With the support of Society Integration Fund and Ministry of Culture of Republic of Latvia Society has got a new identity “DUKA”, which gives us new energy and allows to be more visible. Right now, work on development of a new web page is going on. It will be an interactive platform for parents, professionals and society to cooperate much closer and support each other. 

What is Duka? Duka is a Latvian word for strength, energy, breath. And now it is the new name of the Children’s Palliative Care Society. Society’s strengths are parents raising up incurable children, our specialists working 24/7 to support those families and our supporters and volunteers who dedicate their time and skills.

Our values are – empathy, participation and accessibility. Experience them by collaborating with us! Share your strengths!

To contact Latvian Children’s Palliative Care Society write to

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