Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh

by International Children's Palliative Care Network
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Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh
Bringing children's palliative care to Bangladesh

Over a year ago we began this Global Giving Challenge, with the hope of raising $11,500 to improve the lives of children in Bangladesh with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions by training doctors and nurses in the basics of palliative care for children. We came very close to reaching our goal and raised $10,898 in total.

Through our partners in Bangladesh, far more has been achieved than even we could have hoped for or imagined.

Since the start of the project, and with your generous support, this is what has been achieved: 

  • The first ever dedicated paediatric palliative care training workshop took place in Chittagong, introducing 36 doctors and nurses to practical skills in the field, including the use of morphine for children.
  • The Children's Palliative Care Initiative Bangaldesh (CPCIB) was launched to support the development of palliative care services available for children with life limiting conditions throughout Bangladesh.
  • A seminar and capacity building workshop on palliative care took place in March 2016  in Dinajpur, Northwestern Bangladesh, attended by 10 nurses, 7 doctors, 7 Physician Assistants, 7 Training Centre Staff and 10 Chaplains.
  • The first ever three day Master Class on paediatric palliative care took place in Dhaka, attended by more than 85 paediatricians, palliative care physicians, nurses, pharmacists, palliative care assistants, and social workers.
  • A group of doctors from Bangladesh travelled to India to receive further in-depth training and mentorship on paediatric palliatice care from the children's palliative care team at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai.

How did your money make a difference?
While it is always wonderful to make a difference in the life of even one child - by providing training to just one doctor, we estimate this has the potential to positively affect the lives of up to 200 children over the course of one year. 

Today there are at least 200 more medical professionals in Bangladesh that know about and have begun to provide palliative care to children, with a potential reach of 40,000 children. Because of your generosity, there are thousands more children in Bangladesh who are given appropriate medications to relieve their pain and other distressing symptoms and who will be given the emotional and spiritual support they deserve.

Thank you
Despite not reaching our desired target, we have decided to close this project to make way for a new one. We would like to sincerely thank every one of you for donating when there are so many other causes out there you could have supported.

Thank you for understanding that very sick children deserve to have the best quality of life possible, as do their families. 

Yours sincerely

Sue Boucher

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Attendees at the master class in Dhaka
Attendees at the master class in Dhaka

Dear Friends

Eight months ago we began a Global Giving Challenge with one goal in mind - to improve the lives of children with cancer and other life-threatening and life-shortening conditions in a country where less than 1% had any access to adequate pain medications and palliative care support. 

This was a situation we found untenable. With your help and the determination and dedication of our partners in Bangladesh, far more has been achieved than even we thought possible.

Since the start of the project, and with your generous support, this is what has happened in Bangladesh: 

  • The first ever dedicated paediatric palliative care training workshop took place in Chittagong, Bangladesh and introduced 36 doctors and nurses to practical skills in the field, including the use of morphine for children.
  • The Children’s Palliative Care Initiative Bangladesh (CPCIB) was launched to support the development of palliative care services available for children with life limiting conditions throughout Bangladesh over a period of 5 years. The project began in January 2016 and will end in December 2020.
  • A seminar and capacity building workshop on palliative care took place on 29 and 30 March 2016 at Lamb Hospital Training Centre in Dinajpur in Northwestern Bangladesh and was attended by 10 nurses, 7 doctors, 7 Physician Assistants, 7 Training Centre Staff and 10 Chaplains.
  • The first Palliative Care Nurses Leadership Workshop took place in Dhaka. This one day workshop included skills on how to create interactive lectures and engaging learning strategies to empower nurses to be both teachers and leaders.
  • A most successful three day master class on paediatric palliative care took place in Dhaka, attended by more than 85 paediatricians, palliative care physicians, nurses, pharmacists, palliative care assistants, and social workers.

What does this mean?
This means that thousands more of the 29 000 children needing specialised palliative care support in Bangladesh will be given appropriate medications to relieve their pain and other distressing symptoms and will be given the emotional and spiritual support they deserve. It means that families of these children will also be supported and cared for as they walk this difficult journey. It means a growth in understanding of the need for and principles of compassionate pallaitive care for children with a life-threatening or life-shortening illness. Today there are at least 200 more medical professionals in Bangladesh that know about and have begun to provide palliative care to children. 

Thank you
Thank you for giving money to this project when there are so many other causes out there you could have supported. Thank you for understanding that very sick children deserve to have the best quality of life possible, and so do their families. 

Final request
I hope you agree that we have made good use of the money already donated. We are making one final request.

We have been approached by Dr Megan Doherty for funding to send the doctor who heads the paediatric oncology department at Dhaka Shishu (Children’s) Hospital on a 1 - 2 week clinical attachment to Tata Memorial Hospital in India, a site where ICPCN has been involved in devoping children's palliative care over the past six years. Our remaining funds cannot cover the costs involved so we are asking you one more time to consider a donation to this cause.

We need to raise just $1,622 in order to close this challenge and fund this attachment and ask each one of you who have helped us to get this far to consider just one more donation. We could reach this total if everyone who has helped so far just donated $20.  

Once again, thank you so much for making a difference to thousands of children in Bangladesh. 

With gratitude and kindest regards
Sue Boucher

Nurses learn to provide palliative care training
Nurses learn to provide palliative care training

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Trainers of the 2 day seminar in March
Trainers of the 2 day seminar in March

Dear Friends

It has been a while since we updated you on our project to raise funds for the work that is taking place to develop children's palliative care in Bangladesh. Since our last report, many exciting initiatives have been undertaken and we can say with certainty that children's palliative care provision is taking root in this country. 

The Children’s Palliative Care Initiative Bangladesh (CPCIB) is an initiative of World Child Cancer to support the development of palliative care services for children with life limiting conditions throughout Bangladesh over a period of 5 years, beginning in January 2016 and ending in December 2020. The International Children's Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) has agreed to provide technical assistance for the project over this period as well as assist with funding.

The project will focus on awareness and advocacy activities, education and training and service provision through model centres for children's palliative care.

Megan Doherty, one of the few doctors presently providing paediatric palliative care in Bangladesh says, "The majority of health care workers in Bangladesh don't receive any training in palliative care during medical and nursing college or in post graduate training. This means they don't feel comfortable prescribing strong pain medications, like morphine, for children and they don't know how to communicate effectively with children facing life threatening illnesses.

But we know that if a single care provider is in contact with a child and has received some training in palliative care the child's pain will be relieved their other symptoms will be addressed and the family will be supported as they care for the child through the end of their life." 

We are thrilled to report that a seminar and capacity building workshop on children's palliative care took place on 29 - 30 March 2016. The event was held at Lamb Hospital Training Centre in Dinajpur in Northwestern Bangladesh and was attended by 10 nurses, 7 doctors, 7 Physician Assistants, 7 Training Centre Staff and 10 Chaplains. In addition, ICPCN will be a key partner in a three day Paediatric Palliative Care Master Class presently being planned for the first week of June to take place in Dhaka.  

We hope that you agree that the money you have already donated for this project is being well spent on upskilling professionals in Bangladesh to enable them to provide the expert and compassionate care that seriously sick children deserve.

We continue to be enormously grateful for your support to date and are happy to report that we are so close to reaching our final target amount of  £7,714 - all we need is another £1,650! Could we count on you to donate once more to get us over the finishing line? Each donation will make a profound difference in the life of a child with a life limiting or life threatening illness in Bangladesh.

With much appreciation and good wishes

Sue Boucher

Care providers learn about palliative care
Care providers learn about palliative care

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Photo credit: World Child Cancer UK
Photo credit: World Child Cancer UK

Dear Friends

We came so close to winning the 2015 Global Giving Winter Gateway challenge! In fact we were sitting in first place for most of the final day of the challenge but in the last, nailbiting five minutes other competing charities added substantial amounts to their total. This meant we finished the challenge in fourth place with a very respectable total of £5,880 in donations but sadly just missed out on earning any extra prize money. We cannot thank you enough for coming on this journey with us and so generously donating to this very worthwhile cause and helping us do as well as we did.

ICPCN believes that every child with a life-limiting or life-threating illness or condition has a right to palliative care and that this should never be seen as a privilege. Sadly, access to children's palliative care is something of a global 'lottery' in that availability of services is entirely dependent on where a child happens to be born. While very encouraged by what is already happening in the country, it is still unacceptable to us that less than 1% of children in Bangladesh who need it can access such care. We are so grateful to have your support in our efforts to improve this appalling situation.  

As we previously reported we have already funded the first training of 36 doctors and nurses in Chittagong and our CEO, Joan Marston, has planned a side trip to Bangladesh after attending the Indian Association of Palliative Care conference in February. She will meet with Drs Jameela Khan and Megan Doherty as well as representatives of World Child Cancer and the ASHIC Foundation to identify the most urgent needs and to strategise the best way forward to bring relief to the thousands of children throughout Bangladesh presently without access to palliative care or the necessary medicines to properly control their pain. 

As the scope of this project has grown beyond what we could ever have hoped for, we made the decision to raise our target and continue our fundraising efforts into the new year with a new target of £7,714 (US$11,000). Our shortfall at this time is just £1,834, which we hope we can raise in the coming weeks. We would of course be delighted if you would consider another donation to help us reach this new target and if you would be willing to use your own networks to share this information with other possible donors.

Our most sincere thanks once again to each one of you for helping us get this far. We undertake to keep you fully informed of all further developments in this project as they continue to unfold.

You are all champions for children's palliative care!

Sue Boucher
Project Leader

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Dear Friends

ICPCN would like to thank each one of you for so generously donating to our Global GIving Challenge project which will fund the develpment of children's palliative care in Bangladesh through strategic training of doctors and nurses. We are incredibly grateful and have been quite overwhelmed by your generosity and your willingness to help us. Please be assured that your money will help to make an invaluable difference to the lives of thousands of children in this country who have such limited access to the comfort, relief from pain and emotional support that palliative care can provide.  

Since our last report there has been even further progress in our plans to develop children's palliative care programmes in Bangladesh in partnership with Drs Megan Doherty and Zohora Jameela Khan, based at the BSMMU Hospital in Dhaka and World Child Cancer. Our Chief Executive plans to visit Bangladesh in February 2016 to work on a strategic plan to make this happen, based on a similar project undertaken in the Maharashtra district of India. We have also been in contact with the founders of the ASHIC foundation which has been working to improve the quality of life of children affected by cancer in Dhaka since 1994. 

Our position in the challenge
We are just £1,380 from our hoped for target of £5,000 with only 2 days to go to the end of the challenge. ICPCN is presently lying in 9th place on the Global Giving Gateway Challenge leader board with a total of £3,620 from 52 unique donors. We could still win this, with your help! 

We would love you to join us in this final push to reach our target. Please consider encouraging someone to donate who you know understands the amazing difference that palliative care can make in the lives of children and families when facing a life-threatening or life-limiting diagnosis. I know we can get there!

Thank you again for your support and generosity from all of us at ICPCN, but mostly from the thousands of affected childen of Bangladesh. 

The ICPCN Team

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Organization Information

International Children's Palliative Care Network

Location: Bristol - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @iCPCN
Project Leader:
Sue Boucher
Bristol, United Kingdom

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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