It was a hot day at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Cricket Stadium where 18 children and their parents arrived for a day of fun with the South African Cricket team. The children are patients at the Paediatric Oncology Centre at Chittagong Medical College Hospital under the care of Dr Rezaul Karim who is AssociateInternational Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) wristbands and NOW campaign cricket bats as they eagerly waited to meet the players.
The programme began with Adrian Birrel, the Protea’s assistant coach welcoming the children and explaining the purpose of the day. He explained how Nelson Mandela strongly believed in service and giving back and the Protea’s would like to honour his legacy by giving back to these children with palliative care needs. Lorna Sithole, the media and marketing officer at the ICPCN, gave a brief overview of the ICPCN, a definition of children’s palliative care and the importance of the work of the ICPCN. Dr Rezaul took to the stage and gave an indication of the desperate need for children’s palliative care services and training in Bangladesh. The day closed with team players such as Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, and Ryan McLaren signing mini cricket bats and taking photos with the children.
It was a great day that brought a smile to the faces of the children. In the famous words of Nelson Mandela, “it is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.”
A big thank you to Cricket South Africa for spreading the urgent message of the need of children’s palliative for these vulnerable children, because for these children there is only NOW.