This network arose from the need to provide a forum for healthcare and other professionals as well as parents/caregivers to give input and support for an integrated approach to improve palliative care for children across South Africa.
The launch meeting was well attended with over 150 delegates and provided them with an opportunity to give input into and identify key areas of need for both the health care professional stream and the caregiver and family streams, as well as to elect representatives to guide the institutionalization of the SACPCN.
This historic meeting provided many networking opportunities for professionals as well as for bereaved parents and parents of children living with a life limiting illness. Cindy Illing, a parent and one of the organisers of the event commented that “the half hour spent talking and networking with other parents was more valuable than months of therapy.”
The delegates were addressed by Dr Michelle Meiring, Director of the Bigshoes Foundation, Joan Marston, Chief Executive of the ICPCN and Dr Khaliah Johnson, a visiting fellow from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. They were also treated to the screening of Making every moment Count, a superb film on children’s palliative care by Dr Leora Kuttner.
Watch this space for further developments and news about the SACPCN.