ICPCN and World Child Cancer move to improve Palliative Care in Ghana

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The International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) and World Child Cancer (WCC) have been awarded a prestigious grant from THETs Global Health Workforce Programme to lead a collaborative effort toward the development and improvement of children’s palliative care (CPC) in Ghana.

The work builds on a needs assessment carried out in 2023, which identified the lack of education and training for the Ghanaian health and social care workforce as one of the key barriers blocking children’s palliative care development.

The project which is dubbed #ChilPalCareGhana aims to address this gap by building vital skills and knowledge capacity among healthcare professionals so that better care can be provided to the estimated 152,000 children living in Ghana with a condition that will shorten their life.

After its official launch on 21st February 2024 at Ghana’s Ministry of Health, the project is ready to kick start and be rolled out over 12 months from February 2024 to January 2025.

Overall, the project seeks to improve children’s palliative care in Ghana through four key objectives:

Objective 1: Monthly interactive webinars – Covering different aspects of children’s palliative care and involving CPC experts from around the world, with case studies and discussion.

Objective 2: Multi-professional training in CPC across Ghana – Will provide training to 120 health professionals in four regions of Ghana that consist of : Face-to-face Training, Mentorship, Virtual training, and a Final Face-to-face Conference.

Objective 3: Clinical Placements – Will provide clinical placements for trainees from each of the four training courses with CPC professionals at KATH and KBTH. Others will undertake a two-week clinical placement in the UK facilitated by the Association for Paediatric Palliative Medicine (APPM).

Objective 4: Specialist Training – Work with professional organizations (Ghana College of Nurses & Midwives, Ghana College of Physicians & Surgeons, and the Ghana College of Pharmacists) to review their curricula to ensure that CPC training is included and support 6 trainees to undertake these revised courses.

Julia Downing, Chief Executive at ICPCN says:

“We are excited to be able to continue to support the development of children’s palliative care in Ghana.

This project is a natural progression from the needs assessment that we undertook with our partners in Ghana last year and an important step forward for children’s palliative care in Ghana.

We have seen the commitment of our partners in Ghana to implement children’s palliative care including the Ghana Health Services, The Ministry of Health, Korle-Bu and Komfo-Anokye Teaching Hospitals, World Child Cancer, and all the other partners involved in this project”

Ayire Adongo, Regional Coordinator for Sub-Saharan Africa, WCC says:

“We are extremely excited about winning this grant! It will help us realize our vision of improving the quality of life of children with cancer through building the capacities of healthcare professionals in children’s palliative care in Ghana and the sub-region.

Winning this project helps us to implement the recommendations from the situational analysis and needs assessment on children’s palliative care in Ghana which was carried out in Ghana by ICPCN in collaboration with World Child Cancer, Ghana Health Services, The Ministry of Health, Korle-Bu, and Komfo-Anokye Teaching Hospitals, World Child Cancer and all the other partners involved in this project.”

The collaboration calls on all stakeholders for their continuous support for the delivery of an
impactful project recognizing that we all owe the Ghanaian child, ‘a right to optimum
healthcare’.

This project is funded through the Global Health Workforce Programme, which is funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for the benefit of the UK and partner country health sectors.

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