99th day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Olena Riga – Professor, Center of Palliative Medicine, Kharkiv National Medical University

Education is always “mainstream” in changing practice. The main resources that helped us in gaining new knowledge in the field of paediatric palliative care (PPC) were the ICPCN (e-learning), EPEC-P, AAF OMI Seminars, internships in children’s hospices in the UK, and of course the Maruzza International Congresses on PPC. Today, Ukrainian stakeholders have access to two British editions of the Together for a Short Life and the Medicines Formulary. However, there are still many problems in the educational process in Ukraine. Systemically there is no undergraduate and postgraduate education. And there are no “best practice’ clinical centres. The Center for Palliative Medicine was established at Kharkiv National Medical University precisely for these purposes. It was planned to create an online platform for various target groups and with various basic training modules. Since 2020 the government has been funding a package of medical care for adults and children`s palliative care. A large amount of finances was directed to maintaining inpatient care, rather than bringing the service closer to home and the staff providing this type of service are not trained in PPC. Moreover, the Ministry of Finance rejected a request of including specialist “palliative care physicians” and “palliative care nurses”. Ukraine is also not yet a participant in international multicenter studies in the field of PPC.

Our country continues to be destroyed by the enemy. Many people still die, including children. But faith in Victory does not dry out, and now we need to think about what barriers we need to overcome in order to provide teaching to staff. With regards to education, we have a virtual plan:

  • Development of Universities and research Centers: pre-and in-service training, evaluation, and research
  • Internationalisation of Education with partnership with ICPCN, PallCHASE WHPСA, EPEC-P, etc
  • National Education Council Group with Plan of PC & PPC development
  • Creation of Educational Programs in PC & PPC
  • Advocacy for specialisation in PC & PPC
  • Participation in international multi-center research in PC & PPC
  • Translation of Textbooks
  • Creation of a National educational website in PC & PPC
  • Support of New Design (International) of National/Regional programmes of PC&PPC and PC&PPC needs
  • Creation of support for PC & PPC education and for stipendium programmes
  • Revise elements of training programmes, adapt and translate programme materials, tools, manuals, and training modules
  • Improve and expand educational programmes until national coverage is achieved
  • Review programmes and action plan every 3-5 years

I would like to thank the Honorary Consultants of our Center – Joan Marston and Satbir Jassal for initiation these processes. Time dictates the need for palliative care in a humanitarian crisis. And we get this knowledge from colleagues from PallCHASE

And just recently, the 5th Maruzza International Congresses on PPC took place in Rome (25th -28th May 2022), where the Ukrainian delegation was also present. Among them, our young doctors visited the Congress for the first time! And one more moment that cannot be passed by – the huge support of the entire global pediatric palliative community! It is you, dear colleagues, who helped evacuate our children and provide them with qualified assistance in palliative care, it is you, dear colleagues, who answer all our needs and requests for humanitarian and technical events, it is you who support us morally and emotionally. Together we move towards Good. #StopWarinUkraine