The International Children's Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) in partnership with the RIATT-ESA Care and Support working group is launching a policy brief for Palliative Care for children with Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis (TB) in children has become a serious health issue worldwide and new estimates reveal that at least 67 million children have been infected by TB with 850 000 developing the active disease. This is compounded by the fact that two million of these children have been infected by multi-drug resistant TB, leading to 25 000 cases requiring expensive and toxic treatment. The need for palliative care for children with DR-TB cannot be overstated.
Some of the recommendations include:
- The Integration of children’s palliative care into primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare services.
- Training of all health and allied health workers in children’s palliative care, ensuring that training is provided through basic training and continuing education, intermediate training and specialist palliative care training.
- Ensuring equitable access to pain-relieving and other palliative medicines, including opioids in formulations suitable for children.
- Ensure that care is provided in a holistic manner i.e. physical, psychological, social and spiritual.
- Sensitise the community to the need for children’s palliative care, identifying individuals who may be local CPC champions.