Paediatric Palliative Care ECHO Programme in Bhutan: A New Era

Categories: Education.

In partnership with Hyderabad Centre for Palliative Care, Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration, and Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital, the first virtual training program on paediatric palliative care has been launched in Bhutan.

This virtual training uses the Project ECHO model to provide Paediatric Palliative Care training through video lectures, case presentations and interactive small group discussions. The course brings together a wide group of faculty from Bhutan, India, Canada, and the US, strengthening the connections between health care professionals to facilitate mentoring and support both during the course and in the future.

There are an estimated 700 children in Bhutan who have serious or complex medical conditions and who need palliative care each year. There are currently no specialised paediatric palliative care to meet their needs within Bhutan. Partnering with palliative care experts in India and North America, Bhutanese clinicians have been working to develop this virtual course to address this gap.

This learning program will provide health care providers with the skills to address the concerns of families and children living with life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, neonatal conditions, genetic and metabolic diseases, congenital conditions, and neurological conditions (including cerebral palsy).

The ECHO program includes six weekly sessions, each 75 minutes in duration, with final session and closing ceremony on Aug 25 2023.

The programme is focused on Paediatric Palliative Care and Serious illness care, including the topics:

  1. Introduction to palliative care
  2. Which conditions need palliative care; palliative care delivery in various settings and resources
  3. Opioids and pain management in children
  4. Symptom Management (nausea/vomiting, breathlessness)
  5. Communication techniques in palliative care, Providing Psychosocial and Spiritual Support, How to break bad news to patients and families
  6. End-of-life care and Nursing issues. Participants who have enrolled in the program are paediatricians and other types of physicians, paediatric nurses, and allied health professionals.

After participating in this program, healthcare providers treating children with serious illnesses will be able to identify children with palliative care needs and apply a ‘Paediatric Palliative Approach’ when caring for children with Serious Health Related Suffering.

Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), UK has endorsed the Bhutan PPC ECHO programme, which helps the PPC ECHO programme gain a broader reach.

For more information about our PPC training programmes, go to

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