Travel date: May 30, 2018
Name of Meeting/Event/Activity: 3rd ICPCN Conference: Inspiration, Innovation, Integration
Origin: Kuala Lumpour, Malaysia / Destination: Durban, South Africa
It was a great opportunity for networking. Listening to and exchanging experiences with people in the same field from different parts of the world had widened my perspective on how to further develop palliative care for children within my institution and in Malaysia. The plenaries and breakout sessions have given me a few ideas on paediatric palliative care research that can be carried in Malaysia.
At one of the sessions, education was said to be a form of advocacy. Hence this will be one of the areas I will concentrate on at my institution. Priorities would be : i) Changing our approach in integrating paediatric palliative care education into the paediatric postgraduate training. Previously we selected trainees and they underwent weekly sessions on different aspects of palliative care. I now think that this may be a little rigid. One of the sessions at the conference was on education and it was carried out based on the needs of the healthcare providers. Healthcare providers were asked which aspect of care they found challenging and the teaching sessions were aimed at addressing those challenges. ii). Including aspects of paediatric palliative care into the national paediatric curriculum for paediatric postgraduate trainees. iii). Extending palliative care education to paediatric nurses especially those in neonatal ICU, paediatric ICU and oncology ward. I have also learnt that for education and advocacy to reach as many people as possible, various methods such as e-learning and mobile applications could be employed.
Perhaps if possible, instead of transferring the fund into the grantees’ personal accounts, arrangements could be made to pass the funds to the grantees on site in the form of cash. This will avoid the rather high bank processing charges.
Needs and challenges and what I’ve learned from the conference that can help overcome these: i.) Lack of trained doctors and nurses to provide palliative care to children with life-limiting diseases. Palliative care education should not be limited to pediatricians and nurses intending to provide specialist palliative care but needs to extend to the multidisciplinary teams involve in patient care. Structured teaching of palliative care principles and teaching based on the healthcare provider’s needs can be carried out at the hospital level for all teams involved in care of children with life-limiting illnesses. These teaching sessions can be in the the form on face-to-face sessions or through e-learning. ii). Lack of high quality research due to inadequate funding and lack of institutional capacity for palliative care research. Collaboration with other more established palliative care institutions or research groups will facilitate high quality research. iii). Lack of standardized quality monitoring of existing and new pediatric palliative care services. Forming a network among pediatric palliative care providers could enable regular audits of the services. Various outcome measures could be used for this purpose.