ICPCN has launched a new campaign!
Every day 350 000 babies are born, an event that is, for most people, one of the most joyous moments in life. Imagine the devastation of parents when their child is born with, or develops, a condition or disease that threatens or will shorten its life.
In time, many of these parents will hear the devastating words: ‘We are sorry, but there is nothing more that we can do’. This is the heart-breaking reality for millions of children and families around the world. When palliative care services are available these words will never be spoken, because in children’s palliative care we sincerely believe that there is always something that can be done. Whether this is the provision of appropriate medications to ease the child’s pain and other distressing symptoms or surrounding the family with a compassionate team of people who will ensure a good quality of life for the child. A team that will accompany the child and family on the journey that lies ahead – a journey that can be filled with precious moments of joy between those of sadness and despair. Support will also be provided at the time of death and into bereavement.
It’s a human right
ICPCN supports the view that palliative care for children is a human right. We have established that there are over 21 million children worldwide living with a life-limiting or life-shortening condition that would benefit from generalised palliative care and around 8 million that need specialised paediatric palliative care, including the care of a child at the end-of-life. Our research also reveals that barely 1% of these 21 million children are receiving it, most of these who miss out, are living in the developing world. For these children, as the disease or condition progresses, unnecessary pain and suffering will occur, including physical, spiritual and emotional suffering.
A daunting task
Meeting a need of 21 million children seems a daunting and almost impossible task, but ICPCN believes that if we can just persuade you as an individual, in your corner of the globe, to commit to doing Just One Thing to promote and improve children’s palliative care provision, we can get closer to ensuring that these 21 million children live for as well as possible, as long as possible. And if the disease prevails and their lives are cut short, that their deaths will be as pain free and as dignified as is possible to achieve.
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