MINSK, 9 November (BelTA) – Belarus was among the driving forces spearheading the establishment of the Association of Children's Palliative in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ACPEECA), Director of the Belarusian Children's Hospice Anna Gorchakova told reporters on the sidelines of the international conference Children's Palliative Care as the Realization of the Right of a Severely Diseased Child for a Decent Life, BelTA has learned.
“Each country has its own model of palliative care, its achievements and challenges. With this in mind, Belarus, Latvia and Ukraine put forward an initiative to set up this association, which has already been registered. We invite other countries to join it. This association is designed to train doctors and social workers to provide palliative care. There will be a group of consultants who will help countries work out their own models of palliative care,” Anna Gorchakova said. The association is expected to be up and running next year. At this moment, work is underway to select consultants (medical advisors) who will provide assessments and consultations to participating countries in palliative treatment, Anna Gorchakova added.
In her words, children's palliative care in Belarus is advancing to a new level; however, there is still room for improvement. The country should adopt the best practices of other countries, utilize domestic reserves more actively and make the most of public-private partnership. “Thanks to public-private partnership people can already get medical assistance in hospital and at home. Such a model is not common in other countries. This model is used mostly in Minsk. We should work towards establishing palliative care facilities in the regions and think of ways to make this care convenient and inexpensive,” Anna Gorchakova added.
The Belarusian Children's Hospice takes care of about 250 children a year. A register of children in need of palliative treatment has been compiled in Belarus. At present it features 1,200 children. “In reality, more children need palliative. Three years ago we conducted a study that revealed that 3,500 children needed or would need palliative. They were at various stages of disease; therefore children who did not need palliative care at that moment would probably need it in the future. We should be ready for that,” the director of the hospice explained.
UNICEF representative in Belarus Rashed Mustafa Sarwar believes that Belarus is at the forefront of palliative care in its region and it should share its best practices with other countries. “The hospice gives children an opportunity to realize their right to decent life. Its emergence and expansion in Belarus can be hailed as a real success and a great example to follow,” he said. Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus Andrea Wiktorin also emphasized the importance of providing care to seriously ill children. The EU is willing to finance projects aimed at promoting this kind of work. “We should take care of children first and foremost. One of the key objectives is to motivate people who work with children,” Andrea Wiktorin said.
The international conference Children's Palliative Care as the Realization of the Right of a Severely Diseased Child for a Decent Life is taking place in Minsk on 9-11 November. It is arranged by the Belarusian Children's Hospice in line with the EU-funded international technical aid project “Development of a Pilot Project to Protect the Rights of Children with Severe Disabilities and Terminal Conditions in Belarus” and in cooperation with the HealthProm organization. Taking part in the conference are experts from 11 countries.More about Society