Building Capacity for Children’s Palliative Care in Ghana #ChilPalCareGhana

The aim of this project is to build capacity for the provision of children’s palliative care (CPC) in Ghana, improving the quality of care provided to children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

With >21 million children globally needing access to palliative care there is recognition of a growing unmet need. A recent needs assessment of CPC in Ghana estimated that in 2019 there were 152,238 children <20 years of age who needed palliative care: 101 per 10,000 children, and yet provision of CPC was at a very early stage. The importance of increasing access to CPC education across the health system was highlighted, both in terms of continuing and specialist education. This reflects recommendations put forward in the WHA resolution (2017) and by the WHO (2021).

This project will build on the foundations of this work, which was undertaken by the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN), World Child Cancer Ghana (WCC-G) and the Ghana Health Services. It will respond to its recommendations and build on existing work of organisations such as the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives. The Ghanian MoH and Health Services are committed to strengthening CPC within the country, recognising the importance of specialist education and training for the multi-disciplinary team.

The ICPCN and WCC-G are leading a collaboration of organisations in Ghana, the UK and the US to deliver this project. The main activities will include: Co-design of the training programme; preparation of materials; monthly national CPC webinars; delivery of multi-professional training for 120 health workers; provision of clinical placements within Ghana and the UK; supporting development and delivery of specialist level curricula; monitoring and evaluation; and development of a sustainability plan for the programme.

Intended outcome: health workers have strengthened capacity to provide palliative care for children and their families across Ghana.

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